SmartMoney magazine ranks URI #1 in New England and 13th in nation for return on investment

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KINGSTON, R.I. — August 15, 2011 — The Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine has once again cited the University of Rhode Island as one of the best values in higher education. In its nationwide survey examining the relationship between tuition costs and graduates’ earning power, URI is ranked 13th in the nation among public and private institutions and ranked the highest in New England.

In what they’ve dubbed their “Payback Score,” the magazine assessed public and private colleges on their ability to deliver the best return on investment and sought to quantify the long-term value of a college education based on alumni salaries. When the survey was first published in 2009, URI was ranked at 15 for its return on investment.

URI Dean of Admission Cynthia Bonn said, “We are pleased that once again the SmartMoney study has shown that the University of Rhode Island provides its students with an excellent education at an affordable price, and prepares them for rewarding careers. It’s exciting to see that the return on the investment in a URI education has continued to improve in recent years, despite the difficult economic situation we are facing as a nation.”

The top 18 schools listed are public institutions. Princeton is ranked 19, Dartmouth College at 21, and Harvard is at 22.

SmartMoney magazine reporter Sara Germano said the publication repeated the survey this year considering today’s economic climate. “We know people are paying very close attention to their expenses and begin to look at what return they might expect from their investment in college. So unlike many other college surveys, we wanted to show the straightforward information about the simple costs and outcomes based on alumni earnings.”

Working with, a Seattle-based compensation-data company that maintains salary profiles of 29 million workers, the SmartMoney Payback Score looks at what graduates from 50 of the most expensive four-year colleges earn in their early and mid-careers. Then they factored in their up-front tuition and fees.

Link here for the complete article with the full interactive chart of rankings.