Colleges' ROI More Complicated Than Simple Math (Opinion)

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 PayScale.com, a consulting firm specializing in nationwide employee compensation issues.

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