It pays to go Thomas More University, new study finds

Is the high price of college worth it?

Students and graduates of Thomas More University got a resounding “yes” to that persistent question recently with the release of a new report by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The study found that Thomas More has the highest long-term gain – at more than $1 million – among four-year institutions in Kentucky that primarily grant bachelor’s degrees.

The research was conducted at Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce as an effort to answer a question students and parents wrestle with: Does it pay to go to college?

The report, called “First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges,” ranks colleges according to return on investment.

It used new data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The Scorecard is an online database started in 2015 to give more information about colleges. The Georgetown study focused on the net present value of college. Net present value was calculated by assuming that earnings 10 years after first attending are a reasonable proxy for future earnings and weighs the costs of investing in college now against the potential gains over time.

“College is expensive, and as with all expensive investments, the potential return is a key consideration when choosing where to enroll and what to study,” the report says. “Potential students should consider how much it will cost to obtain a credential, and how much they could potentially earn with it.”

Thomas More ranked highest among 28 public and private Kentucky colleges and universities in four benchmarks – at 15, 20, 30, and 40 years after enrollment. The university ranked in the top 15 among 143 Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana public and private colleges and universities in four benchmarks – at 15, 20, 30, and 40 years after enrollment.

“Reports such as these further prove that the education and experience we provide is worthy of investment,” says Thomas More President Joseph Chillo.

The study calculated a net present value over 40 years of $1,038,000 for Thomas More graduates, tops in Kentucky.

Galen College of Nursing in Louisville, which primarily awards associate degrees, was ranked second in the state with a 40-year net present value of $985,000. University of Kentucky was third at $935,000.

In this region, the report calculated a net present value for Northern Kentucky University of $812,000 over 40 years and $688,000 for Gateway Community and Technical College.

You can read the full report here.


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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.