University continues to receive top rankings for educational value

University of Nevada, Reno positioned as a quality investment among other national schools, continues land-grant mission to provide higher education to all students

4/21/2014 - By: Nicole Shearer
The University of Nevada, Reno recently received three rankings as a top value in higher education.

Three recent reports have ranked the University of Nevada, Reno as a top educational value for students. At a time when the cost of college tuition is on the rise and the affordability of higher education is in question, the University continues its commitment to student accessibility.

Best Value Schools ranked the University No. 9 in the Western United States for offering the best return on investment. To arrive at the ranking, the online site took the top public university in each state, according to U.S. News and World Report, and ranked schools according to their net 30 year return on investment as measured by PayScale. The ranking indicates that students with a degree from the University will receive a net return on investment of $635,900 for in-state tuition and $584,800 for out-of-state tuition.

A report by Payscale.com ranked the University right at the 25 percent mark of all colleges and universities in terms of its tuition return on investment. This means it is considered a better value than 75 percent of the other 1,310 schools examined by the financial website. A graduate's net return on investment after 20 years, according to the site, would be $306,400 if he or she did not get financial aid and paid in-state tuition. According to the report, this is a 7.3 percent return on investment for estimated four-year tuition costs of $103,600. For those paying out-of-state tuition, the University ranked 533 with a 4.8 percent return on investment.

The site, which collects crowd sourced employment data, looked at alumni earnings to determine how much a typical graduate should earn after graduation in 20 years of working, minus what they would have earned as a high school graduate and the cost of college (tuition, room and board, books and supplies).

The University was also named to the top 100 best U.S. Colleges and Universities by State by TheBestSchools.org. The website ranked the University as the top school in Nevada.

"It is important for people to see that the University offers students a variety of cost advantages," Shannon Ellis, University vice president of student services, said. "Students receive a Tier 1 university experience that is authentic and vital for producing educated and enriched students while remaining one of the best values in higher education."

With the national average student loan debt around $25,000, students will likely spend the next 10-30 years paying back the money they borrowed for their education. At the University, the average student with financial aid graduates with around $22,400 in student loan debt. With the proposed tuition and fee increases by the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University is committed to remaining accessible to students.

"As Nevada's land-grant institution, part of our mission is to make college accessible to all students," University President Marc Johnson said. "Reports like these position the perception of a college education in terms of overall value. Just like when you purchase a house, the overall cost can be daunting at first. It's important for people to understand and see a University education as a long-term investment into their future."

Nevada currently ranks seventh in resident undergraduate tuition and fees and tenth in non-resident undergraduate tuition and fees at public universities in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which comprises of 16 states.


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