PayScale College ROI Report – Overview by Payscale

Overview:

We produce this report to aid prospective college students in determining earning potential and their educational return on investment (ROI) when thinking about school selection. With student loan debt in excess of $1 trillion in the US, we believe that students need to evaluate the ROI for different schools to ensure they’re making good decisions in regard to student loan debt and the impact it may have on their financial future.

Rankings shown are based on 20-Year Net ROI for on-campus costs both with and without financial aid factored in. If a school does not report On Campus cost to IPEDS, then it is not included in the rankings.

 

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New For 2016:

PayScale provides median earnings data of workers who attended college based on where their household fell in the income distribution when they attended college. Median earnings by household income is provided overall, by experience, job level, and school type. PayScale provides data on average student loan payment amounts by major, job family, household income bucket, age, highest degree obtained, and school category. PayScale also examines how prepared college grads felt after graduation by major, school categories, and household income bucket. Note that “-” is listed wherever we were not able to report on a statistically relevant sample. Data was obtained from 78,500 U.S. workers who took the PayScale survey between 12/23/2015 and 2/10/2016.

Monthly Student Loan Payment Percent Median Pay
$0-$100 per month 39% $59,500
$101-$250 per month 25% $52,100
$251-$500 per month 24%  $55,100
$501-$1000 per month 9%  $61,500
$1001+ per month 3%  $72,100

 

Monthly Student Loan Payment
Age Median Pay of Respondents Currently Paying Loans Percentage Breakdown of Respondents Currently Paying Loans $0-$100 per month $101-$250 per month $251-$500 per month $501-$1000 per month $1001+ per month
18-22  $42,300 4% 42% 27% 22% 6% 3%
23-27  $6,700 29% 32% 26% 28% 11% 3%
28-32  $57,900 23% 33% 26% 27% 11% 3%
33-37  $63,900 15% 35% 30% 24% 9% 2%
38-42  $65,900 9% 44% 25% 21% 8% 2%
43-47  $68,700 7% 50% 20% 20% 8% 2%
48-52  $71,500 6% 58% 17% 17% 6% 2%
53-57  $69,500 4% 67% 13% 14% 4% 2%
58-62  $72,300 2% 73% 10% 10% 4% 3%
63-67  $73,200 1% 76% 10% 9% 3% 2%
68 or older  $- 0% 83% 7% 3% 6% 1%

 

Monthly Student Loan Payment
Highest Degree Attained Median Pay of Respondents Currently Paying Loans $0-$100 per month $101-$250 per month $251-$500 per month $501-$1000 per month $1001+ per month
Doctors of Medicine (MD)  $107,000 29% 9% 20% 20% 23%
Degrees no higher than Doctorate (Ph.D.)  $85,200 49% 16% 18% 12% 5%
Degrees no higher than Juris Doctor (JD) or Master of Jurisprudence  $82,800 29% 12% 25% 22% 12%
Degrees no higher than Master of Business Administration (MBA)  $77,800 40% 20% 24% 13% 3%
Degrees no higher than Masters (non-MBA)  $63,600 35% 21% 26% 14% 4%
Degrees no higher than Bachelors $51,900 41% 27% 23% 7% 2%
Degrees no higher than Associates $45,400 36% 30% 32% 2% 0%

 

Highlights – College ROI Rankings

Rankings in this list of press highlights are based on Net 20 Year ROI, On Campus Costs (Without Financial Aid). If a school does not report On Campus cost, then it is not included in the main ranking. “Overall” ranking refers to ranking of schools only, not school-job category or school-major combinations. There are 962 schools included in the overall PayScale College ROI list; 442 public (both in-state and out-of-state cost structures are included), 505 private not-for-profit, and 15 private for-profit schools.

  1. Caltech took the #1 spot this year bumping Harvey Mudd to #3 in the overall ranking. MIT came in at #2.
  2. Engineering schools remain at the top of the PayScale College ROI list. The schools ranked 1 through 3, overall, and 6 out of the top 10 schools, overall, are engineering schools. The average net ROI for engineering schools is $756,000, compared to the average net ROI for Liberal Arts, Religious, Arts, or Music and Design Schools which are all less than $250,000.
  3. Public schools dominate the overall ranking for annualized ROI- indicative of their relative low cost when compared to private Schools. Only 2 out of the highest 100 on campus annualized ROI values come from private schools. Brigham Young University (BYU) and Park University are the exceptions, and both have inexpensive on campus costs; $69,400 and $91,600, respectively.
Current Median Pay by Household Income Distribution in College
Years of Experience Bottom 25% Middle 50% Top 25%
Overall  $55,300  $62,900  $69,300
Early Career (0-5 years of experience)  $46,700  $51,100  $56,600
Mid-Career (10 or more years of experience)  $77,400  $86,000  $108,000

 

Effect Of Household Income Pre-College On Income Post-college

  1. College graduates that come from wealthy households when entering school have a greater earning potential post-graduation. The median pay for respondents whose household income was in the bottom 25 percent of the income distribution (self-reported) when they attended college is $55,300. The median pay increases to $62,900 for respondents whose household was in the middle 50 percent of the income distribution. Respondents whose household income was in the top 25 percent have the highest earning potential post-graduation with a median pay of $69,300. The same pattern holds true across experience levels, job levels, and school types.
  2. The positive effect of high household income during college upon earnings post-college is compounded with more experience. While the bottom 25% and middle 50% realize wage growth from early to mid-career salaries by 66% and 68%, respectively, individuals who reported being in the highest 25% of household income in college experienced 91% median wage growth from early to mid-career salary.
  3. Are college graduates from low-income backgrounds still suppressed? 33 percent of mid-career workers (10+ years work experience) that report being in the bottom 25 percent of the household income distribution in college report earnings in the bottom 25 percent. Only 18 percent of mid-career workers that started in the bottom 25 percent now earn in the top 25 percent. Reversely, only 15 percent of mid-career workers that started in the top 25 percent now earn in the bottom 25 percent.
  4. A higher percentage of executives came from a household in the top 25 percent of income distribution pre-college (18%) than any other job level.
Current Median Pay by Household Income Distribution in College
Job Level Bottom 25% Middle 50% Top 25%
Executive Level  $123,000  $133,000  $152,000
Director Level  $79,300  $86,300  $98,600
Manager or Supervisor Level  $61,100  $68,100  $77,300
Individual Contributor Level  $50,400  $56,500  $61,300

 

Student Loan Payments

  1. 39 percent of respondents currently paying student loans report a monthly payment of $100 or less. 25 percent
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