Once again, Worcester Polytechnic Institute ranked among the top universities in the nation in return on investment, taking the 15th slot in Payscale’s new College Education ROI Rankings. The Payscale survey showed that a graduate of WPI with a bachelor's degree should expect cumulative earnings of $1,316,000 over 30 years, after college costs are subtracted.
Engineering schools excelled in this survey, with the average ROI for all engineering schools at $1,208,000. This is the fourth year of the study, and the fourth time WPI has ranked in the top 20.
"Now, more than ever, students and parents have to consider the financial consequences of their college selection," said Kristin Tichenor, WPI's senior vice president for enrollment and institutional strategy. "Interest rates on some federal student loans are about to double, underscoring the importance of that decision. The outcomes for our graduates have been remarkable, year after year."
Topping the list was Harvey Mudd College, with an ROI of $2,113,000. Within New England, the highest rankings went to MIT (4th), Harvard University (14th), and Mass. Maritime Academy (16th).
The Payscale.com ROI ranking is intended to help students and parents evaluate the "payback" value of a student's undergraduate degree. In the ranking, ROI was determined by comparing the cost of attending a school with how much its graduates earn. The report projects that WPI has a 9.6 percent annual ROI over 30 years.
This marks the sixth 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.