PayScale Ranks Notre Dame No. 9 for Monetary Value of College Degree

Author: William G. Gilroy

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The University of Notre Dame is ranked No. 9 on PayScale’s new “College Salary Report,” a list of salaries of graduates from hundreds of colleges and universities.

PayScale, which collects pay information from individuals using its online pay comparison tools, analyzed its trove of 1.4 million reports on U.S. college graduates for Bloomberg Businessweek and put a price tag on the college diplomas handed out during recent commencement ceremonies. The rankings list the net 30-year return on investment (ROI) of undergraduate degrees from various colleges and universities. With a typical college degree from the schools in this report, a graduate will earn a gross income of about $1.95 million over a 30-year career, netting about $670,000 more than a high school graduate.

Notre Dame graduates out-earned high school graduates by $1.4 million, making it the ninth most valuable undergraduate degree in the nation.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top spot with a net 30-year ROI of nearly $1.7 million. The next-best education bargain was California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., where students out-earned high school graduates by $1,644,000, followed by Harvard University with a 30-year ROI of $1,631,000.

There are only 17 schools in the study, including Notre Dame, whose graduates can expect to recoup the cost of their education and out-earn a high school graduate by $1.2 million. At more than 500 schools, the ROI is less—sometimes far less.

Launched in 2002 and headquartered in Seattle, PayScale owns the largest database of online employee salary data in the world.