Is college worth it? That’s a question on the minds of many Americans today.

A new study from Georgetown University identifies which universities in the U.S. provide the greatest long-term financial gain for their graduates, and shows that a degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology is one of the most valuable in the nation.

The study, “A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges,” released Thursday by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), places Missouri S&T among the nation’s top 50 universities in three categories related to return on investment and No. 51 in a fourth category. Missouri S&T is also the top university in those categories among the state’s public colleges and universities and No. 2 to St. Louis College of Pharmacy, a private institution.

Missouri S&T ranks 42nd in the nation for 40-year return on investment, or net present value (NPV) with an average return of $1,548,000 for a bachelor’s degree recipient. The value of an S&T degree increases over time. S&T’s 10-year return on investment is $213,000, good for No. 154 in the ranking, but S&T’s 15-year NPV ranking is No. 51 nationally with a net return of $494,000, while the 20-year and 30-year rankings are both 43rd-best in the nation.

The average return on investment for an S&T graduate 20 years after graduation is $749,000. The ROI 30 years after graduation is $1,188,000.

The Georgetown researchers used data from the federal government’s College Scorecard to calculate the value of a credential from 4,500 two-year and four-year institutions over different time periods.

“Everyone is asking, ‘Is college worth it?’ and we set out to try to find an answer,” says Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author of the Georgetown study and CEW director. “Not only will it help students, but this kind of information on the costs and benefits of higher education holds institutions more accountable.”

“This research affirms what our alumni and employers of our graduates have told us for years: that a Missouri S&T degree is one of the greatest investments a student can make,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mohammad Dehghani. “A degree from Missouri S&T is truly a million-dollar degree.

“This study also aligns with other national rankings that place S&T among the top universities for return on investment,” Dehghani says.

The average starting salary for Missouri S&T bachelor degree graduates was $63,892 in 2018 and $72,622 for those who earned master’s degrees.

For more information on the study and to compare universities and data, visit https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/CollegeROI/.