Daily Beast: St. Olaf among colleges with the lowest ROI

Check the math (derekbruff via Flickr)

My editor, a St. Olaf College alumnus, is going to kill me for this.

The Daily Beast has ranked the school #15 on its list of colleges with the worst return on investment — in other words, what you earn after graduation relative to what you’ve spent on a degree.

Here are the stats presented:

6-Year Grad Rate: 84.9%

Average Net Price: $26,276

Average Starting Salary: $39,200

Average Midcareer Salary: $77,500

We all know higher ed is not just about punching a ticket to a good job.

So take it all with a grain of salt.

Note: I’ve received some critical feedback on this. I think it’s important to note that a lot of these colleges are well-known names. As the note on methodology states, lots of other campuses weren’t even worthy of consideration. I think this is a list of the lowest ROIs among solid colleges. It’s appears to be a pretty simplified calculation, but raises interesting questions about the value of a college education.

All that said, you can decide how serious to take it. I find it interesting, but not worth spending too much of my time on.

  • Guest11

    Daily Beast based salary info on payscale.com data. I hope the rankings take cost of living into account, because $80K in Beloit will go a lot farther than $80K in DC.

    • afriedrich

      Interesting point. I haven’t seen the methodology. If you mean salary, it would be interesting to see where most of a college’s graduates settle. I’m also curious how the cost of living factors into life while in college. Life in a big city or an expensive state might be at a lower standard than life at a rural institution. And I’m not sure how much of the total cost of college is factored in.

  • Come On

    I don’t understand how ranking a college’s worth is based on salary? It depends on the degree, where one goes, and how the job market is….that happens AFTER college. That tells nothing about the education of the school. There are plenty of educated adults having a hard time finding a job these days.