Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ranks in the top 1.5 percent of all colleges nationally for return on investment, according to PayScale, Inc., which recently released its 2014 College Return on Investment (ROI) report.
WPI ranked 18th out of the 1,312 colleges and universities in the study with a 20-year net return on investment of $664,900, according to PayScale. The ROI figure refers to an individual’s net earnings in 20 years as a college graduate. According to the report, a WPI education provides graduates with a 7.4 percent annual return on their investment in the 20 years following graduation.
WPI was one of the highest-performing schools in New England, as only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (third; $831,100), Babson College (11th; $716,700), Massachusetts Maritime Academy (12th; $702,100), and Dartmouth College (17th; $666,000) had higher net ROI figures.
"We continue to see that WPI's project-focused approach to education truly prepares our students well for success in the workforce, which is clearly reflected in this PayScale report," said Edward J. Connor, WPI's dean of admissions. "Throughout their years at WPI, students are learning to work in teams and to apply their knowledge and skills to helping solve significant global challenges. This is what allows our graduates to differentiate themselves from other college students."
PayScale leaders noted that post-graduate earnings are an important part of the college decision-making process.
"Although post-graduate earnings shouldn't be the only consideration when choosing a school, they should certainly play a part, especially when making choices about how much to borrow to fund your education. Students need to know whether they’ll be able to pay off their loans effectively in the context of their chosen field," said Katie Bardaro, lead economist for PayScale.
The PayScale ranking follows news that WPI was noted in a number of recent college rankings. Last November, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked WPI 27th on its list of the country's best values in private colleges, its highest ranking to date. And last summer The Princeton Review named WPI one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education.