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It Pays to Graduate From the Mount, New Study Finds

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Mount St. Mary’s University ranks in the top 10 percent of colleges and universities nationwide in terms of the long-term earnings for a four-year college degree, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). After 40 years Mount graduates have earned $1,056,000 in net economic gains, ranking 405th of 4,529 colleges and universities in the study.

 “A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges,” found that in the long-term, the national average net present value for attending a private nonprofit college is $838,000, compared to more than $1 million for Mount alumni and $765,000 for graduates of public colleges.

The Mount ranked in the top 26 percent nationally at 15 years after graduation (net present value of $278,000), 14 percent at 20 years ($466,000), 10 percent at 30 years ($790,000) and 9 percent at 40 years ($1,056,000).

The university is becoming increasingly well known for its return on investment. In 2018-19, the Mount ranked as the No. 1 college for employment in Maryland, according to the career-guidance site Zippia. The researchers used the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to identify the college in each state with the highest listed job placement ratings, looking specifically at employment levels at year 10 after students have graduated. 

The Georgetown CEW report used expanded College Scorecard data to calculate the net present value of a credential from 4,500 colleges, including traditional two-year and four-year public and private colleges, as well as for profit colleges and training academies. CEW also developed an online table of the 4,500 colleges that allows users to sort data on tuition, median student debt, and median earnings for each institution. “Students and their parents should take advantage of data by institution to make more informed financial decisions about where to attend college,” said Ban Cheah, co-author of the report and research professor and senior economist at CEW.

For the full report and sortable tables of 4,500 colleges and universities ranked by various ROI metrics, visit