Author: David Dodson


The University of Georgia ranks in the top five for its student payback ratio among national universities, both public and private, according to the January 2009 issue of Smart Money magazine. Smart Money magazine.

"This ranking speaks first and foremost to the very high quality of education that UGA students receive. They leave here prepared for success by any measure, and I am proud of them," said UGA President Michael F. Adams.

Smart Money, a magazine published by the Wall Street Journal, quantified the long-term value of education by examining the relationship between tuition costs and graduates' earning power at two different stages in their lives. According to the survey, UGA graduates earn a median salary of $44,100 three years after graduation and $86,000 15 years after graduation. The median salaries were divided by the institution's tuition at the time of graduation resulting in a payback ratio. UGA's payback ratio is 239 percent.

The overall top 10 included No. 1 Texas A&M, followed by the University of Texas at No. 2 and Georgia Tech at No. 3. Rounding out the top 10 were the University of Washington, Rutgers University, the University of Illinois, Clemson University, Purdue University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Princeton, ranked first among Ivy League schools and 20th overall, has a payback ratio of 132% and Washington and Lee, ranked first among liberal arts schools and 19th overall, has a payback ratio of 145%. Washington and Lee is the highest-ranked private institution on the list.

For more information on the student payback ratio ranking, go to Smart Money's web site.