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Mapping College ROI: Payscale’s 2015 College ROI Report by State


No doubt, there is more to be gained from college than just a good job. People are always giving college students advice about how to maximize this invaluable experience. But, these days, it pays to be practical as well. Soaring student loan debt is crippling graduates, their parents, and the economy. Payscale’s College ROI report was created to help students and families factor in ROI data when selecting a college.

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(Photo Credit: Marxchivist/Flickr)

By weighing the cost of college against which schools produce students who are able to pay back the cost of tuition and launch successful careers, students and families are able to make more informed choices when picking a school.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Of course, sometimes students already know which region of the country they want to focus on for their college search. For these folks, Payscale’s 2015 College ROI report takes a look at college ROI by state. Here are some things to look for when you check out your target area.

1. Use the interactive map.

This resource allows you to hone in on a specific state in order to see how it ranks against others. It also allows you to zoom in on each state to see information about the ROI rankings of its schools. If you know for sure that you’ll be going to school in a certain state, this is a great resource.

2. Specifics.

Specific data is provided for each school that allows you to hone in on the facts and figures that are most important to you, including 20-year net ROI, annualized ROI, graduation rates, percentage of students who stay in state after graduating, percent STEM degrees awarded, and percentage receiving student loans.

3. Regional trends.

If you’re thinking of studying in a specific region, it might be interesting to look for trends when you’re cruising around the map. For example, mountain states were found to be home to some of the best value schools in the country. Utah had the second highest 20-year net ROI, and Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico also had annualized ROIs near or over 9 percent. See how the region you’re considering fares overall.

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