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Forbes: 25 Most Expensive Schools Worth Every Penny


Replies to: Forbes: 25 Most Expensive Schools Worth Every Penny

  • insanedreamerinsanedreamer Registered User Posts: 1,536 Senior Member
    > Is a school 'worth less' if its highly educated students go onto become teachers and public interest lawyers and professors and policy analysts, all who make less money than software engineers and bankers?

    Not at all. But Forbes being a magazine about money, it's understandable that their perspective would be based exclusively on earnings. The problem is that "graduates who contribute society while making less money" is extremely hard to quantify.
  • guitar321guitar321 Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    This list is just stupid. It has no rhyme or rhythm and excludes phenomenal schools that are worth every penny, like Harvard.
  • markhammarkham Registered User Posts: 721 Member
    So the list is "bizarre" and choices "random"?

    Hardly. And there's the rub. These elite and well endowed LACs deliver highly successful and motivated graduates. How? Look at what they say their outcomes as driven by their liberal arts curricula, career-related programs, off campus study and alumni engagement for starters. Oh, and they do offer STEM courses too, to the extent that they - as well, presumably, as graduate schools and employers- find useful and attractive. And these LACs have been doing so for a long, long time. Simple as that.

    Go 'gate!
  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 Registered User Posts: 3,420 Senior Member
    edited November 2016
    Here is Forbes Best Value Colleges:

    Here is Forbes Best Colleges:

    So once again what's this expensive schools worth every penny list mean?
  • IsaacTheFutureIsaacTheFuture Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    I feel your pain @Sportsman88 . Why can they just have a list on a single page????
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 1,666 Senior Member
    Net price.... such a misleading list
  • CourtneyThurstonCourtneyThurston Registered User Posts: 1,258 Senior Member
    "I think that highly motivated and successful students will do well wherever they land."

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 2,324 Senior Member
    It's interesting that Haverford would be on the list and not the others in the consortium--Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore. Swarthmore has engineering too. Bryn Mawr and Haverford practically share a campus. I have no answer for why Haverford and not Swarthmore, but probs Bryn Mawr didn't make the list because the graduates tend to go on to careers with slower salary starts--grad school for several years, social justice careers, that sort of thing. What are Haverford grads doing during the first 5 years that the others aren't? That might be the more interesting question.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,916 Senior Member
    When the articles say colleges are "worth every penny" are they referring only to families who have a spare ~$240k per kid sitting around that they can pay out-of-pocket or are they including the families who would have to borrow ~$100k or more per kid?

    For the most selective/prestigious private colleges, the average debt at graduation tends to be relatively low. I doubt many families borrow as much as ~$100K per kid for them.

    Some studies have tried to measure the financial returns from attending a more selective/prestigious college. Krueger and Dale for example found no significant earnings benefit. If I'm not mistaken, they did not even consider the initial net cost differences.
  • FluriteFlurite Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    I can definitely see Colgate, but yeah not sure why Haverford over Swarthmore. Or all of these over Harvard as well.
  • KLSDKLSD Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    This measure is just as broken as calculating ROI. For a family who sacrificed vacations, gadgets, family time due to work commitments, time for graduate degrees, the ROI is dismal as compared to a family who kept assets/salary low by spending and not working as hard. This list tells us that a school with a higher percentage of legacy attendees (likely the reason Harvard, Penn, etc. do not appear) is not worth the same tuition as its peers. Working hard and staying married are not rewarded or advisable. Can an accurate ROI calculation include education expenses that range from $0 to $280,000? How has educating our children increased by 600% in one generation?

    When one student pays nothing except their work study spending money and a portion of their summer job salary and their classmate's parents are required to pay in full even though it is a financial burden, average cost of attendance is not an accurate measure of anything. These most selective/prestigious private colleges meet a families 'full need'. Therefore, the hard working parents forward thinking/planning without trust funds, pensions or huge retirement savings are the ones who suffer.
  • PostmodernPostmodern Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    I understand college is expensive, particularly for the middle & upper middle classes, @klsd, but do you really think that are families who say "quit your job and take a second mortgage and spend it" so that in a few years their children MIGHT get more financial aid from a college they MIGHT get accepted to?

    As for staying married, I thought divorced family kids got the worst of it, fin aid wise?

    My issue with ROI is that finances are not the only valid way to gauge R but the only way they are ever measured.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,818 Senior Member
    edited November 2016
    Some studies have tried to measure the financial returns from attending a more selective/prestigious college. Krueger and Dale for example found no significant earnings benefit. If I'm not mistaken, they did not even consider the initial net cost differences.

    The Dale and Krueger study has flaws, as pointed out before in many threads. If you want to prove that the USNWR rankings don't predict future earnings, then you need to include that as your measure of school quality and not school average SAT score. A well designed study needs to include more than 3 public universities. It's questionable whether their central finding that the best predictor of future income was the highest average sat of any school that a student applied to, would hold today given the internet and Common App make it easier to apply to lots of schools, including reaches.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,916 Senior Member
    edited November 2016
    My issue with ROI is that finances are not the only valid way to gauge R but the only way they are ever measured.

    True. ROI researchers such as Krueger and Dale focus on the financial returns. Earnings are relatively easy to measure and many people care about them.

    Other outcomes are measurable, though. Forbes considers the alumni listings in Who's Who. In my opinion, alumni PhD completions per capita are a better academic indicator than financial earnings. PhD completions more closely reflect the quality of college instruction. However, most alumni don't care to pursue them.

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