WPI Named a Top Pick Among U.S. Colleges for Return on Investment

November 17, 2011

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) rates 17th in the nation for return on investment in the "What's Your College Degree Worth?" report by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and PayScale.com.

For this report Bloomberg BusinessWeek and PayScale.com calculated salary data from approximately 1,000 alumni from each school and projected the net return on investment over 15-year and 30-year increments, calculating the results with and without grant aid. All pay reports are for full-time employees without advanced degrees in U.S.-based jobs.

"We take pride in giving students and their parents an excellent return on investment," said WPI President Dennis Berkey. "Our project-based, multidisciplinary curriculum prepares them for challenging and well-paying careers, as well as fulfilling lives."

"What’s Your College Degree Worth?" also reported that the 30-year net return on investment for a WPI graduate obtaining financial aid is projected at $1,535,000, or 12th in the nation in that particular metric. The research conducted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and PayScale also showed that the median pay among WPI alumni surveyed is $92,800 and that that 96 percent of WPI undergraduates receive grant aid, which amounts, on average, to $17,004. The report also noted WPI’s remarkable retention rate, citing that 85 percent of WPI's undergraduates obtain a degree within four years.

For 15-year and 30-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. The top 20 schools also included Cornell, Yale, Babson, Columbia, Harvard, Dartmouth, Harvey Mudd, MIT, Duke, Stanford, Colgate, Rensselaer, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and Lehigh.

This marks the fifth time in four years that Payscale has ranked WPI highly for the employment and salary opportunities of its alumni. A May 2011 PayScale report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked WPI in the top 20 in the nation for net ROI. 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 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, Raytheon, Intel, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer, National Grid, IBM Rational, Lucent Technologies, Accenture, and Genzyme, among others.