COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M University is one of the nation’s four most affordable comprehensive public universities with high return on investment (ROI) — what its graduates are projected to earn during the first 20 years of careers – according to new rankings by Payscale, an online organization that focuses on affordability combined with high quality in higher education. The survey places Texas A&M tops in Texas among public colleges and universities.
Of the 69 Texas institutions – public and private – included in the Payscale rankings, only Rice University ranks higher than Texas A&M. The projected net ROI by Payscale for Texas A&M graduates – the added value of a Texas A&M degree compared to what is typically expected of a graduate– is $566,700, and it attributes an overall cost-of-education figure of $91,040 to Texas A&M. The net ROI for Rice is shown as $633,400, with its college-education cost listed as $200,200.
Nationally among public institutions with broad-based academic programs, only Georgia Tech, the University of California at Berkeley and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo rank higher than Texas A&M based on in-state tuition charges. Texas A&M ranked among the top 10 public institutions nationally when including highly specialized technical institutes and schools. The survey addressed graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
Previous such Payscale ratings were based on salaries projected over a 30-year period, but for the 2014 report the timeframe was changed to the first 20 years of a career because, Payscale officials say, that period is more reflective of a graduate’s overall earning power. Texas A&M’s relative standing remained the same, but all the other top leaders in the 2013 survey dropped below Texas A&M.
Underscoring a related aspect of the Payscale survey, the Texas A&M Career Center reports that for the most recent full year for which it has statistics, more than 4,000 companies – a record – recruited at Texas A&M, with more than 12,000 job postings representing over 63,000 positions. Leigh Turner, the center’s executive director, notes that among those 4,000+ companies are 85 of the Fortune 100 companies or their divisions or subsidiaries.
Also, Texas A&M is graduating students at a record rate, with many of them immediately entering the workforce, while others enter graduate or professional school in preparation for subsequent careers that rationally produce even higher financial returns. Texas A&M awarded a record 12,333 degrees for the most recent full academic years, according to the Office of Data and Research Services.