The 20 US colleges with the best return on your investment 40 years after you've enrolled
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- The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce published a study titled "A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 colleges."
- It ranks universities by their return on investment (ROI) for students 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 years after enrollment.
- Forty years after enrollment, the top 20 schools with the highest ROI include four maritime or Marine institutions and two Ivy League schools. The top three spots are claimed by pharmacy colleges.
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A degree from a small New York pharmacy college is more likely to give you a better bang for your buck than a pricey Ivy League school, according to a new report.
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) published a study titled "A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 colleges" on Thursday that lists US colleges by their return-on-investment measures (ROI) in 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 years after enrollment.
The ROI measure of the study is called "net present value" (NPV), which Georgetown University CEW defines as "how much a sum of money in the future is valued today." NPV includes measures such as costs, future earnings, and "length of time it would take to invest and earn a certain amount of money over a fixed horizon."
Georgetown University CEW found that after 40 years, private colleges had a higher average ROI for bachelor's degrees than public colleges. It also found that certificate programs and community colleges had the highest ROI rankings at the 10-year post-enrollment milestone, but they were surpassed by bachelor's degrees in the long term.
Of the top 20 universities, four were either maritime or Marine institutions, and two were Ivy League schools. The top three schools with the highest NPV after 40 years were all pharmacy colleges: MCPHS University, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
On Business Insider's list, we also provide two additional measures for each university from the Department of Education's College Scorecard: six-year graduation rate for first-time bachelor's students (based on data from the 2017-2018 academic year) and median student loan principal at the start of repayment (based on data from the 2016-2017 academic year).