There’s been something of a debate in the media as to whether a college education is worth the investment.

Adelphi-Kudos-focus-attention-on-ROIToday, ROI frequently turns up in discussions about the value of higher education, specifically how much impact a degree will have on graduates’ career and earning power. The issue has become a hot national topic lately due to rising tuitions in a time of economic downturn and increasingly burdensome student debt.

Because of that perfect storm, there’s been something of a debate in the media as to whether a college education is worth the investment.

For instance, a Huffington Post column last summer was headlined “Return on Investment and Why It Matters in Higher Education.” A Washington Post article took a different tack: “College is more than a ‘return on investment.’” It cited benefits to societal well-being when graduates postponed bigger earnings for service to their country or their fellow man via the military, the Peace Corps or Teach for America.

On its website, said, “Attending college is an investment of time and money…PayScale has ranked more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities…to determine the potential financial return of attending each school, given the cost of tuition and the payoff in median lifetime earnings associated with each school.”Adelphi ranks in the top 15 percent of colleges and universities nationwide for return on investment—according to PayScale’s 2013 College Education ROI Rankings—and also among the best schools for health professional majors (No. 17), according to its Best ROIs by Major.

To develop its New York State list of “High ROI Colleges”—whose tuition and fees are relatively low and whose grads enjoy “the highest lifetime earnings when compared to nondegree holders,” (AC Online) also used statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Carnegie Foundation and others.

“[The Payscale/AC Online information] is very interesting and useful to us as we speak with prospective students and families who have lots of college choices and need to know why Adelphi is a good investment. …We ranked higher than Stony Brook [University] on the health professions [majors] list,” said Esther Goodcuff, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success. “Certainly, we believe that promoting ROI in its various forms is critical,” she added.

Chris Gasiewski, editor, Office of Marketing and Creative Services, said Adelphi will be integrating this into materials where appropriate, such as viewbooks, brochures and a recent series of parent emails.

Young adults (ages 25–34) with a bachelor’s degree earned 50 percent more than those with a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics “Condition of Education” 2013 report.

This piece appeared in the Spring 2014 Issue of the Transfer Student Newsletter.

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