NKU tops Kentucky return-on-investment rankings

For immediate release…
Monday – July 29, 2013

- Northern Kentucky University has been recognized by AffordableCollegesOnline.org as having the greatest lifetime return on investment among Kentucky’s colleges and universities, the organization announced today.

AC Online analyzed 114 Kentucky colleges and ranked 11 institutions based on their return on investment according to PayScale’s 2013 College Value Report as well as other factors such as full accreditation, public or private status and four-year degree-granting status. NKU tops the list as providing graduates with the largest earnings difference compared to non-degree holders over 30 years. The report concludes that, on average, NKU alumni earn more than graduates from other Kentucky schools.

“As we continue our strategic planning process, student success has been a central focus for the university,” said NKU President Geoffrey Mearns. “One measure of student success is graduating with the skills and experience needed to launch a successful career. This ranking is an acknowledgment that we offer tremendous educational quality for current and prospective students.”

AC Online consulted a series of highly respected, authoritative data sets such as those provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System in developing its state rankings. It also considered Carnegie classifications to represent and control for institutional differences and ensure for adequate representation of sampled institutions, students and faculty. It gathered salary data from Payscale.com. The organization also considered tuition and fees.

“These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” said AC Online president Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Kentucky that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”

The AC Online analysis concluded that NKU graduates earn an average of $583,000 more than non-degree holders over a 30-year period.
“Our students and alumni already know that the educational experience they receive at NKU is special,” President Mearns said. “They choose Northern because we provide an outstanding learning environment where students at every level have access to renowned faculty and state-of-the-art technology. And we offer this private educational experience at a tuition rate that is equal to and often less than other public institutions.”

Schuessler echoed those sentiments, encouraging students to explore all of their options. “We aim to educate so that potential students are aware of their options for obtaining a degree and, most importantly, for paying for one,” he said. “What are the most affordable options – online study, two-year, four-year, public or private colleges? What financial aid options are available and what pitfalls should you avoid? Our goal at AffordableCollegesOnline is to keep our finger on the pulse of college-related issues, the latest research, how the government is responding, and help students analyze their options.”

The complete AC Online rankings for Kentucky are as follows:

Institution - ROI
1. Northern Kentucky University - $583,000
2. University of Kentucky - $560,000
3. University of Louisville - $474,800
4. Bellarmine University - $415,000
5. Spalding University - $391,000
6. Western Kentucky University - $383,600
7. Eastern Kentucky University - $366,100
8. Murray State University - $292,800
9. Kentucky State University - $270,700
10. Georgetown College - $165,800
11. Morehead State University - $90,290

The full Kentucky rankings and other information are available at http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/kentucky.

About AC Online
Affordable Colleges Online provides students with information about affordable higher education options. The website offers financial aid videos, expert advice, and cost savings ideas. AC Online is a trusted resource for college stats and rankings. Most recently the site launched a feature that provides students with a categorized directory of free online introductory classes.

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