Study says RPI offers best return on investment for upstate New York grads

Jun 18, 2014, 10:37am EDT

Study says RPI offers best return on investment for upstate New York grads

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers the strongest return on financial investment of any college in upstate New York.

So says PayScale, a compensation-data firm headquartered in Seattle.

PayScale released a report earlier this year on the earning potential of graduates from more than 1,000 U.S. colleges, including 40 in upstate New York. Click on the College Guide logo above (with the View Photos tab) to see the complete upstate standings from bottom to top.

Rensselaer, a private engineering school in Troy, is the upstate leader with 20-year adjusted net earnings of $607,100 for the typical graduate.

PayScale ranks colleges according to the adjusted earning power of their alumni. It calculates the average total income for a graduate of a given school, covering the first 20 years after college. Then it subtracts two sums -- the cost of college and the average earnings that a high school graduate could expect over the same period.

What remains, theoretically, are the earnings that can be attributed to attending a given school.
Rounding out the top five for upstate New York are Cornell, Colgate, Clarkson and Binghamton universities.
The University at Buffalo is the highest-rated college from Western New York. It's 10th in the upstate standings.

PayScale produced two sets of data for all public schools, providing separate breakdowns for in-state and out-of-state students. The rankings that accompany this story are limited to the in-state calculations.

Several upstate colleges are not included in PayScale's rankings because of insufficient data.


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