The Houston Midtown Chapter of The Society for Financial Awareness Presents MONEY MATTERS with Christopher Hensley

Is that fancy, expensive college degree really worth the cost of several years of tuition, room and board and books? Everyone knows that the cost of education is skyrocketing, but the answer is still YES!

Wondering which colleges have the best ROI? Return on investment is the “financial return” from any investment of money, or in this case, the income amount above and beyond what a high school graduate would make. The investment is the cost of that degree, on average, minus the average student financial aid at each college.

As a general rule, college IS worth the investment, not only in terms of increased incomes, but also for job security and happiness. But not all colleges (or degrees) are made equally in this sense. Some colleges, such as private schools, generally cost twice as much as in-state public schools. Some colleges have a closer network of alumni which may help in job prospects, while others have really high graduation rates.

Want to see how Texas college compare on ROI and graduation rates? You might be surprised!

Rank

School Name

2013 Cost 

20 Year

Net ROI

Graduation Rate

1

Rice University

$200,200

$633,400

92%

2

Texas A&M University – Main Campus (In-State)

$91,040

$566,700

80%

3

University of Texas (UT) – Austin (In-State)

$106,100

$497,100

79%

4

Prairie View A & M University (In-State)

$87,080

$494,900

36%

5

LeTourneau University

$150,900

$436,000

61%

6

University of Texas at Dallas(In-State)

$99,520

$435,400

64%

7

University of Houston (UH)(In-State)

$98,320

$409,300

46%

8

University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) (In-State)

$97,410

$402,500

40%

9

Southern Methodist University (SMU)

$226,100

$401,900

80%

10

Texas Tech University (In-State)

$88,390

$398,800

62%

11

Lamar University (In-State)

$97,520

$352,000

32%

12

Wayland Baptist University

$90,060

$344,300

36%

13

Texas Woman’s University  (In-State)

$74,390

$338,700

45%

14

Texas A&M University – Kingsville Campus (In-State)

$77,980

$307,700

32%

15

Concordia University – Austin, TX

$152,300

$307,400

34%

16

Trinity University

$178,000

$297,700

80%

17

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Campus (In-State)

$86,640

$292,100

39%

18

Texas Christian University (TCU)

$188,400

$288,100

75%

19

Dallas Baptist University

$126,800

$287,000

54%

20

University of North Texas (UNT) (In-State)

$84,920

$277,400

48%

21

University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) (In-State)

$94,580

$275,900

38%

22

Sam Houston State University (In-State)

$80,490

$269,700

48%

23

Baylor University

$189,800

$253,100

75%

24

St. Mary’s University – San Antonio, TX

$160,000

$250,700

57%

25

Texas Wesleyan University

$136,800

$247,100

37%

26

Midwestern State University (MSU) (In-State)

$72,190

$242,500

40%

27

West Texas A & M University(In-State)

$78,010

$234,200

44%

28

Tarleton State University (TSU) (In-State)

$78,850

$233,600

39%

29

University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) (In-State)

$94,100

$231,600

28%

30

Texas State University – San Marcos Campus (In-State)

$87,290

$222,400

55%

31

University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA) (In-State)

$71,480

$216,900

39%

32

University of Texas at Tyler(In-State)

$83,460

$214,600

41%

33

Houston Baptist University

$156,900

$201,500

44%

34

Southwestern University

$181,100

$197,400

75%

35

Abilene Christian University

$156,500

$186,600

59%

36

Angelo State University (In-State)

$82,330

$176,200

31%

37

Lubbock Christian University

$124,500

$160,900

43%

38

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) (In-State)

$94,330

$154,800

44%

39

Saint Edward’s University

$171,300

$136,100

69%

40

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB)

$145,800

$128,900

46%

41

Texas A&M University – Commerce Campus (In-State)

$83,910

$125,300

36%

42

Texas Southern University(In-State)

$102,200

$124,900

12%

Source- Payscale.com (2014)

2013 Costs= The total cost to attend that school (tuition, room and board, books and supplies) weighted for the length of time it takes most students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Net ROI= The total income that a graduate will earn after graduation in 20 years of working, minus both what they would have earned as a high school graduate and the cost of college (tuition, room and board, books and supplies), minus the average financial aid amount awarded to students at that school if that filter has been selected. It is their net earnings in 20 years as a college graduate.

Some interesting things to point out:

Average Texas college graduation rate is about 50%. TSU and UT-San Antonio have horrible grad rates at 12% and 28%, respectively.

Not surprisingly, Texas A&M has the highest ROI rate. It graduates a lot of engineers and boasts a strong Aggie network.

Others in the top ROI rate include: Prairie View A&M, UT, Texas Tech, Texas Women’s University, UT Dallas, and University of Houston.

Colleges that round out the bottom of that list are St. Edwards, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Southwestern University, Abilene Christian University and TSU. The first three don’t even have a positive return on the financial costs!

Obviously, one chart with a couple of metric is not enough to judge an entire college and its programs, but parents and college-bound students should keep these numbers in mind when picking colleges and trying to save for the expenses.

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Category:College Funding and Financial Aid -- posted at: 7:54am PST
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