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Which types of institutions offer low-income students the greatest ROI?

January 25, 2022

The Georgetown CEW report sheds light on which types of institutions provide the greatest returns at a time when the public is increasingly skeptical about higher education’s value. Its findings also could add fuel to arguments for greater regulation of the for-profit college sector, which the Biden administration has pledged to crack down on.

Low-income students have median returns of $756,000 across all degree levels, which falls below the median of $822,000 for all students, according to the report. The researchers calculated ROI as the median net present value, which is students’ expected 40-year earnings minus their college costs. Low-income students’ smaller returns occur across all institution types and credential levels.

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