After the Princeton midterm crunch, you might be wondering how much your degree will really pay off post-graduation. A new report by PayScale stacks Princeton at the top of the Ivy League, with a 20-year net return of $795,700 given a four-year tuition fee of $217,300. This translates into about $4 earned for every dollar spent on a degree.
Overall, Princeton ranks 22nd, falling behind 17 public colleges, including the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia and the Georgia Institute of Technology, which sits at the top of the rankings.
The top ten is dominated by public colleges with significantly lower tuitions and returns close to $9 for every dollar spent on a degree. The only private institution to make the golden list is Brigham Young University.
Princeton is 12 spots above the closest Ivy, Brown, and Columbia finished worst of the Ivy League schools, at 53rd, with a return of just over $2.
Samuel Bennett, a Colorado high school teacher, spread the news in his popular Reddit post, “The College Gap No One is Talking About.” Bennett holds an environmental science and engineering degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Bennett’s post received over 7,000 Facebook likes, and sparked discussions on the value of free higher education.
“There’s a major difference in cost between public and private schools, but there’s no significant difference in how much money you’re going to make,” Bennett said in a phone interview.
Bennett noted that the analysis does not consider the benefits of peer networking or alumni connections at prestigious universities like Princeton. He added that the data does not distinguish higher-earning majors such as engineering or the health sciences.
However, Bennett said that many of his students are aiming for private, East-coast universities without considering cheaper options.
“I would suggest they look at in-state schools.”
Another surprising revelation from the analysis is that 23 schools showed negative returns, with Shaw University, a private institution, leading the list. Of the top ten schools with negative returns, 6 are private.
Check out some of Bennett’s graphs below!