The financial benefits as well as the strains of earning a college degree have become more apparent than ever before.
Historically, choosing the “best” college for many had been about picking the most exclusive institution possible. But with the cost of higher education skyrocketing, it’s more critical than ever for students to choose universities that guarantee they stay in school, are well supported, find enriching co-curricular activities to build connections and competencies and graduate with the least amount of debt possible.
It’s only natural that a new generation of college rankings have emerged to serve potential students. One of these is LendEDU’s February report “Colleges with the Best Return on Investment,” which rated the University of Missouri–St. Louis third in the state and second in the St. Louis region.
The site based its rankings on what it calls the “College Risk-Reward Indicator,” which is equal to average early pay divided by average student loan debt. UMSL scored highly due to an average salary of $48,700 and debt of $14,700.
“Having a strong public institution that is graduating students in a timely manner with limited debt contributes directly to the health of the region,” Associate Provost for Student Success Beth Eckelkamp said. “There’s only an upside to contributing to the workforce by providing students with a high quality education, strong programs and an eye toward helping them not be burdened with a lot of debt or spending too much time in school completing their degrees.”
LendEDU joins a host of recent rankings that acknowledge excellence and practicality of an UMSL degree. In September, US News & World Report ranked the university second in Missouri and No. 96 nationally in its first-ever “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” based on graduation rates of Pell recipients. CollegeNet rated UMSL seventh in Missouri and first in St. Louis in its 2019 “Social Mobility Index,” and in May, a New York Times study noted UMSL’s six-year graduation rate outperforms peer institutions.
More recently, Great Value Colleges rated the UMSL BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice No. 11 nationally in its “35 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Criminology for 2020.”