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Pacific education ranks near top in long-term value

Study places Pacific’s ROI at No. 58 among nation’s colleges, universities
Dec 17, 2019

University of the Pacific ranked No. 58 out of 4,500 university and colleges in a nationwide study showing that bachelor’s degrees earned at private institutions have the highest returns on investment 40 years after enrollment.

That means someone with a degree from a private institution such as Pacific can have a net economic gain of nearly $100,000 more over 40 years than someone who graduated from a public college and nearly $300,000 more than someone with a degree from a for-profit private college, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), “A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges.”

The long-term earning advantage of those holding degrees from private nonprofit colleges and universities is all the more impressive given the higher tuition and loan debt generally associated with attending a private institution. The study proves the value of a Pacific education, because Pacific graduates will out-earn their counterparts who graduated from public and for-profit universities.

In the CEW study, Pacific’s return on investment (ROI) after 15 years ranked No. 154 among those 4,500 universities and colleges on the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. Pacific was at No. 81 at 20 years, No. 63 after 30 years and No. 58 at 40 years after enrollment.

Using the online College Scorecard comparison tool and excluding for-profit colleges, Pacific is No. 3 in alumni salaries among similar-sized universities in California 19, No. 12 among all California universities and No. 32 among similar-sized universities in the United States. Pacific also ranked No. 53 among Best Value Schools for 2020 by U.S. News and World Report.

Public institutions — with lower tuition and lower student loan debt — had higher ROI than private institutions a decade after enrollment. But private nonprofit universities and colleges such as Pacific showed higher long-term ROI. Degrees from a private nonprofit institution are worth $8,000 more per year 10 years after enrollment. An average private institution graduate, even after paying off debt, has a net economic gain of $838,000 over 40 years compared to $765,000 for a graduate of a public school and $551,000 for a graduate of a for-profit private college. The study also noted that workers with a bachelor’s degree earned 80% more than those with no more than a high school diploma.

CEW is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute studying the link between individual goals, education and training curricula, and career pathways. CEW is affiliated with the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. For the full report and sortable tables of 4,500 colleges and universities ranked by various ROI metrics, visit cew.georgetown.edu/CollegeROI.

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