ROI report shows economic value of a UW-Stout degree

May 7, 2014

A new report confirms that a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout is worth the money invested in the education.

The 2014 College ROI Report indicated that the 20-year net return on investment for a student paying in-state tuition and receiving financial aid was $309,200. The annual return on investment rate was 9.3 percent, which ranked fifth among all public universities in Wisconsin, including UW-Madison.

"Everyone knows that UW-Stout students have tremendous success in the workplace," said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. "We are proud of our 97 percent placement rate. This report confirms that a UW-Stout education is well worth the investment to obtain that degree."

The full report is available here. UW-Stout's annual employment report is available here

UW-Stout also commissioned an independent study on the return on investment of a degree from the university.

That study, by the EMSI consultant group, showed:

  • Students enjoy an attractive 15.3 percent rate of return on their UW-Stout educational investment.
  • The average annual income of the typical bachelor's degree graduate at the midpoint of his or her career is $47,600, 94 percent more than someone with a high school diploma.
  • Over the course of a working lifetime, bachelor's degree graduates earn $947,100 more than someone with a high school diploma.

The report measured the 20-year return on investment as the total income that a graduate will earn after 20 years of working, minus what they would have earned as a high school graduate and the cost of college, minus the average financial aid amount awarded to students. The result is their net earnings in 20 years as a college graduate.

The annual ROI rate is the return on investment of investing in a degree as opposed to investing in other ways, like the stock market or bonds.

UW-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University, has more than 9,300 students in 45 undergraduate majors and 23 graduate majors, including one doctoral degree. UW-Stout, established in 1891, prides itself on the success of its students in the workplace, with an employment rate at or above 97 percent for recent graduates. The university was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2001.