College return on investment

Do college costs have a convincing ROI (return on investment)? Crunch these numbers:


Percentage of Northwestern students who receive financial aid.


Average amount of financial aid (scholarships, grants, $5,500 in federal loans, and campus employment) awarded to a Northwestern freshman. Yes, the loans must be repaid, but Northwestern students who finance college with loans graduate with the same debt (approximately $33,000) as graduates from Iowa's public universities.* [*from Peterson's Project on Student Debt]


Difference between your average yearly income as a college graduate ($74,464) and the average yearly income of someone who starts working after high school ($44,356).* Over a 40-year career, that's more than $1 million in lost income if you don't invest in a college education. Plus, the unemployment rate of high school graduates is nearly twice that of college graduates. [*from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data]


The percentage of Northwestern graduates who finish college in 4 years or less. (In comparison, an average of 66% of students at public universities in Iowa and South Dakota graduate in 4 years or less.* The rest take 5 or 6 years to complete their education, losing about $30,000 of income potential per extra year—in addition to tuition costs.) [*from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System information]


You will get great career preparation at Northwestern—you'll stand out as an economist, nurse or teacher. But leading a life of significance goes beyond your job, so a Northwestern education will prepare you to stand out as a smart, Christ-like spouse, parent and church or community leader too. And you can’t put a price on an education that will prepare you for that.