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Rutgers Degree Ranks Sixth in Nation in Earning Value
Public institutions provide best return on students’ investment, says SmartMoney magazine survey
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – What’s that Rutgers degree really worth? A lot when compared with its cost, according to an article published this week in the January 2009 issue of SmartMoney magazine.
In a national survey of college costs versus salaries earned by graduates of 50 public and private institutions, Rutgers ranked sixth in the nation for the value delivered to the university’s graduates based on their median salaries three years and 15 years after graduation.
Public institutions outscored all of the private schools – including the Ivy League and many elite liberal arts institutions – on their return on investment. The article, "The Best Colleges for Making Money," called public universities “a sweet deal” for families facing large tuition bills.
To come up with its rankings, SmartMoney culled data from a recent survey by PayScale.com, an online salary database. The magazine looked at salaries of college graduates at two career stages: within five years of graduation (median: 3 years) and 10 or more years after graduation (median: 15 years). SmartMoney then divided each of those figures by the school’s degree cost at the time the students attended the institution.
The data showed that the median salaries of in-state Rutgers graduates three years and 15 years after graduation – $50,300 and $91,800, respectively – were the highest among public universities from the Northeast included in the survey.
Acknowledging that “when it comes to paycheck size, private-school alums still out-earn their public rivals,” the article asserts that “once you factor in the tuition investment, the picture changes dramatically.”
Courtney McAnuff, vice president for enrollment management at Rutgers, said that during these difficult financial times, many families are understandably concerned about the cost of higher education. “The survey underscores what we have been saying to prospective students all along,” McAnuff said. “Rutgers – with its world-class faculty, undergraduate research opportunities and more than 100 majors to choose from – provides an outstanding education at an affordable price.”
Ahead of Rutgers in the rankings were the University of Georgia, Texas A&M, University of Texas, Georgia Tech and University of Washington.
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick, Rutgers offers more than 280 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degree programs. The university is home to 27 degree-granting schools and colleges, and more than 150 specialized centers and institutes. Rutgers is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a highly selective organization comprising the 62 leading research universities in North America.
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