University of Rochester Ranked 1,266/1,275 By The Economist

Why This Matters | Eric Davis | November 10, 2015

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By Eric Davis

The Economist recently published an article claiming that in terms of value, U of R ranked 1,266th out of 1,275 schools, putting them on the lowest percentile (0). Their measure was mainly focused on the discrepancy between expected earnings and median earnings of the Universities’ students, where Rochester boasts a $8,876 deficit.

In its own words, The Economist’s rankings are based on the controversial premise that “the economic value of a university is equal to the gap between how much money its students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere. Thanks to the scorecard, the first number is easily accessible. The second, however, can only be estimated. To calculate this figure, we ran the scorecard’s earnings data through a multiple regression analysis, a common method of measuring the relationships between variables.” (The scorecard is data collected and made public by America’s Department of Education).

It is interesting to notice, however, that other “highly selective schools” similar to Rochester struggle as well (NYU: 30th percentile, Wash U in St. Louis: 22nd percentile, and RIT: 14th percentile). Although this is true, UR’s rank is quite alarming, as there are only nine schools ranked lower.

I’m sure you are sitting there reading this article thinking: “There is more to life than money” or “I got more/want to get more out of UR than just a job with a good paycheck.” I’m not saying you are wrong, but what I am saying is that college is an investment; one that for many is over $150,000. And according to this data, students aren’t getting much of a return on their investment, bringing this question to the forefront: is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into college really worth it??

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