Colleges' ROI More Complicated Than Simple Math (Opinion)

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Philip Swanson, fresh from earning his degree in civil engineering from Wayne State University, already is among a fortunate minority. While more than 50 percent of college grads under age 25 are either jobless or under-employed, Swanson has secured a full-time job in his field of study.

And, because he earned a baseball scholarship and worked summers, he has no student debt at a time when 60 percent of college grads in Michigan have student loans, and when the average student loan debt in 2010 was $25,675.

That combination means, for the 23–year-old Detroit resident, college was quite a good return on investment.

The same is not true for some students on Michigan's college campuses, according to a controversial study by, a consulting firm specializing in nationwide employee compensation issues.

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