Using the recently released comparative college data from the U.S. Department of Education, TrendCT looked at college admissions, average cost, and median earnings years after graduation for schools in Connecticut.
We can dig a little deeper to figure out which colleges offer the best return on the cost per student.
One way to do that is to compare the median debt a student graduates with to how much he or she will make in the future. In this instance, the U.S. Department of Education provided median earnings for students 10 years after they enrolled in 2001.
The analysis showed that Goodwin College students graduated with a higher debt than the median salary they would make years later ($33,764 to $25,800).
Clarification: Though this type of broad data analysis is useful for institutions that have been in existence for decades, it might not necessarily apply to schools going through a transitionary period or just starting up. The 2011 earnings data from the Department of Education tracked students enrolled in 2001, but Goodwin College transitioned to non-for-profit status and was accredited in 2004. So Goodwin College’s datapool of students included others like Goodwin Institute, according to Dan Noonan, Vice President for Enrollment Services. At the time this data was captured in 2001 and now being used for this analysis 14-years later, Goodwin College was in existence for 27-months and does not at all reflect what Goodwin College is today, he said.
“It is invalid to compare the student debt of a student attending in 2011 to a student enrolled in 2001 in a non-collegiate, vocational program,” said Noonan. “Programs of study offered in 2001 had significantly different vocational outcomes than the programs of study the College offers today.”
TrendCT and Goodwin College will be exploring this further and will be including updated numbers in the near future. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, Norwalk Community College grads walked away with a median debt of $3,500 and made almost $32,000 in 2011, according to the Department of Higher Education. That was the school with the largest salary to debt ratio in Connecticut.
Is there a correlation between the exclusivity of a college and a graduate’s earnings to debt ratio?
In Connecticut, there’s a correlation of -.68, which is fairly strong.
However, the sample size is small since only a couple dozen colleges in Connecticut provided admission rate data. And Yale might be an outlier with its Ivy League status.
So let’s expand the sample size and look at all colleges in the country.
The coefficient is only -.2. So nationally, there’s a very weak correlation.
Is there a correlation between students’ average SAT scores and the earnings to debt ratio after graduation?
In Connecticut, there’s a correlation of 0.8, which is a very strong correlation.
But as before, we should expand the sample size to be safe.
The correlation drops to 0.5, which is not quite as significant.