Date: Sep 7, 2013 1:51 AM
Author: Robert Hansen
I saw an article with some slick data that compared the starting salaries of college graduates from various colleges in Colorado...
The numbers aren't bad...
Colorado School of Mines - $56,671
Regis University - $53,705
University of Colorado Denver - $43,804
The lowest ranked college, Adams State University, had a starting salary of $32,539 and the median starting salary was $38,860. Not huge but as long as you manage your debt, a decent start.
When you dig far enough to get to the story behind the data...
You find that these are just 26% of the the 61,800 graduates from 2006 to 2010. And this doesn't even take into account all the students that do not graduate. That is a huge omission from the message this report sends. It is also a sad omission when you realize that practically no one would dig further into this, let alone a student.
What is even more bizarre is this...
The report was funded by the Lumina Foundation, which was previously the largest private guarantor and administrator of student loans until they were bought by Sallie Mae in 2000. The proceeds of that sale established the endowment for the Lumina Foundation which is now a private non-profit organization whose purpose it is to get more kids to go to college. I guess by publishing reports like the one above.
To be fair, deeper yet, on the website for the producers of the report (but nowhere on the report itself) is some real truth...
"Far too many students enroll in college but never complete their education. On average, less than 60% of students seeking four-year bachelor degrees graduate within six years. Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students are far lower. Among students seeking associate degrees at community colleges, less than one-fourth earn these degrees within three years ? with only about 14% of black students and 18% of Hispanic students doing so.
The human side of this failure is significant. The student who drops out after a year or two of college will benefit only slightly ? at least economically ? from having attended college but not having earned a degree. They will earn, on average, only 5% to 10% more than peers who never attended college. Many of these students will take on thousands of dollars of student loan debt which will be a significant financial burden for years to come. In addition to these personal costs, taxpayers spend billions of dollars each year subsidizing the education of students who fail to graduate and who, too often, don?t even make it through their first year of college."
The report's message however is simple (and very stupid). Pick the college that has the best first year salary.