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Colleges with the Best Return on Investment in Alabama

They say college years are the best of your life. They shape how you see the world, what passions you want to pursue, and who you hope to be. But much more than an emotional, personal and professional starting point, college is a significant financial investment.

Over the past 10 years, the cost of a college education has increased by more than 25%, according to CNBC. For the 2019 academic year, private colleges cost an average of $ 48,510 per year and public colleges $ 21,370. After four years, and in many cases five to six years, that cost can add up significantly, so you will need to make sure that you invest your money in an institution that is worth it. Those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $ 32,000 more per year than those without, reports the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities. But some colleges have a higher ROI than others.

Universities specializing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies tend to have a higher return on investment for their graduates. STEM has gained ground over the past 10 years as more and more careers require scientific and technological knowledge. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.2 million STEM jobs in 2020, and that number is growing. The median annual salary of workers in STEM fields is also more than double the national average.

Stacker compiled a list of colleges with the best ROI in Alabama, using a 2019 study by Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Martin Van Der Werf of Georgetown University. Colleges which mainly award baccalaureate degrees were taken into consideration. Colleges are ranked by highest return on investment over 40 years, with ties broken by return on investment over 10 years. The study took into account net present value, balancing today’s costs with future benefits.

#ten. University of Southern Alabama
– 40-year NPV: $ 793,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 84,000
– Median debt: $ 15,000

# 9. Huntingdon College
– 40-year NPV: $ 812,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 64,000
– Median debt: $ 16,950

# 8. Amridge University
– 40-year NPV: $ 854,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 112,000
– Median debt: $ 10,430

# 7. University of Alabama at Birmingham
– 40-year-old NPV: $ 854,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 82,000
– Median debt: $ 14,980

# 6. University of Alabama
– 40-year NPV: $ 905,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 71,000
– Median debt: $ 17,340

# 5. Spring Hill College
– 40-year NPV: $ 917,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 72,000
– Median debt: $ 20,500

# 4. South Birmingham College
– 40-year NPV: $ 937,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 61,000
– Median debt: $ 19,500

# 3. University of Alabama at Huntsville
– 40-year NPV: $ 960,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 85,000
– Median debt: $ 13,522

# 2. Samford University
– 40-year NPV: $ 982,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 47,000
– Median debt: $ 15,832

# 1. Auburn University
– 40-year NPV: $ 995,000
– 10-year NPV: $ 81,000
– Median debt: $ 17,000


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