President's Blog

Value of a college degree in Virginia

posted earlier some data from SCHEV indicating variations in earnings of graduates from different Virginia universities. These data, as SCHEV itself recognizes, have some methodological limitations.  But they at least provide a broad picture of monetary value of a degree for a graduate of our universities (and I need to emphasize that there many other forms of value that cannot be captured by a salary statistic).  The following graph tries to capture the relationship between the full cost of a degree for an in-state student (tuition, fees, room and board for four years) and its monetary value (median annual wages for a graduate).

The graph shows a positive correlation between cost and value, but a modest one (16.6%).  With all the caveats expressed above, I was glad to see George Mason University showing as the biggest, positive outlier, with below average cost and top wages.  As we articulate a new strategic vision for the university, I hope we continue to excel in terms of value added to our students.

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