The University of Florida provides the second-best return on investment among public schools and fourth-best among all schools, according to a new analysis from DegreeChoices.
The analysis, highlighted in Forbes, looked at more than 2,000 higher-ed institutions using the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. It factors in the economic return students get from attending college, including greater financial security.
The final ranking placed UF above vaunted institutions such as MIT, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan. Princeton University and Stanford University, both private institutions, took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively.
“This is excellent news and frankly not surprising,” said Mori Hosseini, chair of UF’s Board of Trustees. “It’s well known that UF students get an incredible return on their investment, go on to build highly successful careers and become major contributors to the state’s economy.”
UF President Kent Fuchs was equally pleased by the news.
“Students make a life-changing decision when they choose where they will attend college,” he said. “Those who graduate from the University of Florida will walk away with an exceptionally valuable degree.”
DegreeChoices ranked schools based on “payback.” The measure considers how much more college graduates from a particular institution earn than the average non-college graduate in their state, then uses the figure to determine the amount of time it takes a student to pay back their educational investment with those additional earnings.
The net cost of a degree from UF is $6,302 and graduates earn $64,463 a year on average, which is $19,742 more than the average Floridian without a college degree. That means UF grads can make back the cost of their education in less than a year.
“Consumer interest in how much economic return on investment a college degree conveys continues to run strong,” Michael T. Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University, wrote in Forbes regarding the rankings, adding that “most students say that getting a good job is their main motivation to go to college.”