Thursday, March 27, 2014

College Degrees and ROI

Not sure that ROI (return on investment) is really the best way to look at what college/university you pick but for some degrees, it could make a difference.  The Atlantic has a comparison.  Look at where UW is.

It's important to be clear about what this study is telling us and what it's not telling us. The fact that the most valuable colleges here seem so predictable is an interesting data point, because the predictably best colleges tend to get the best students. So what you're seeing here isn't just the quality of the school's education but also the quality of the students it attracts. 

Indeed, that's one reason why it's important to not conflate "highest ROI" with "best" or "smartest."


mirmac1 said...

Stanford Economics?! Whodda thunkit!

robyn said...

That was my thought exactly, Mirmac! I love Econ! :)

TechyMom said...

UW is looking pretty good here :)

Anonymous said...

That's great for those who can get into the UW. We found the UW harder to get into than more prestigious private schools back east. And then, to get into the UW CompSci program, forget about it.

As a graduate student and in watching my niece (out of state student), I observed that the education you get at the UW for your freshman and sophomore year are pretty crappy. Once you get into your program, it generally gets better.


Anonymous said...

I think elite research schools (and, yes, UW is one of those) are not as great for lower division work. I think HP's comment would apply to my alma mater, UC Berkeley, as well. The lower division classes are huge (sometimes 800 students), the instructors are distant and unapproachable.

I feel like I had the best of both worlds going to a 4-yr college for lower division classes and then transferring to UCB. You have to keep your grades up to do that though.

-Hopped around

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Unknown said...

The classic correlation vs. causation :) This is why I prefer ROI calculated for the individual based on their situation rather than for colleges themselves, like this calculator here.