WPI Named a Top U.S. College for Return on Investment

WPI has ranked in the top 20 for two years running.

According to a recent study by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Payscale, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been rated as one of the top 20 colleges in the nation that offer the highest return on investment (ROI). According to their data, WPI graduates can expect a net ROI of $1,535,000 over a 30-year period. This is the second year of this study, which looked at nearly 700 colleges and universities nationwide, and the second time WPI has ranked among the top 20.

"It's tremendously gratifying – but not surprising – that our graduates enjoy such a tremendous return on their investment," said Kristin R. Tichenor, senior vice president for enrollment and institutional strategy at WPI. "WPI graduates benefit greatly from having had the chance to tackle real-world problems as part of their college experience. They learn to become critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers with the experience, the expertise, and the leadership skills they need to succeed in their career of choice."

For this ranking, ROI was determined by comparing the cost of attending a school with how much its graduates earn. The study took into account Payscale's online pay reports of 1.4 million college graduates nationwide, with an average of 1,000 alumni from each school factoring into in the calculations. The top 20 list also included Caltech, Harvey Mudd, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame, Babson, Yale, Columbia, Lehigh, Amherst, Colgate, University of California Berkley, Cornell, and Rensselaer.  

All Payscale pay reports are for full-time employees without advanced degrees in U.S.-based jobs.  For 30-Year and 15-Year Net ROI, PayScale calculated the average earnings of a graduate (in excess of those of a high school graduate) in 2010 dollars after deducting the cost of the degree and adjusting for the school's graduation rate. The cost of the degree includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies for a 2010 graduate who obtains a degree in the average time it takes to graduate at each institution.

This marks the fourth straight year that Payscale has ranked WPI highly for the employment and salary opportunities of its alumni. A 2008 Payscale survey reported by Forbes.com ("The Top Colleges for Getting Rich") ranked WPI No. 9 in the nation for graduates employed for 10 to 20 years. The university has also ranked high in Payscale's "Best Paid Graduates" rankings:  in both August 2009 and in June 2010, WPI placed in the top 10 among all schools for highest median starting salary.   It was also in June 2010 that WPI was first named to Payscale's top 20 list of colleges and universities that offer the highest return on investment.

Recognizing the value of WPI graduates, businesses actively recruit WPI students and alumni. Top recruiters include General Electric, United Technologies Corp., Raytheon, Intel, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer, National Grid, IBM Rational, Lucent Technologies, Accenture, and Genzyme, among others.

May 3, 2011

Contact: Eileen Brangan Mell, Director of Public Relations, +1-508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu