The Brookings Institution, a public policy institute based in Washington D.C., spent 2015 crunching an enormous amount of data in an attempt to answer the question which colleges add the most value?
Of course, there are many ways to measure value, but Brookings focused on comparing expected incomes for the incoming freshman demographic (for each specific college) to actual income of those graduates. According to Brookings:
Value-added measures attempt to isolate the contribution of the college to student outcomes, as distinct from what one might predict based on student characteristics or the level of degree offered. It is not a measure of return on investment, but rather a way to compare colleges on a more equal footing, by adjusting for the relative advantages or disadvantages faced by diverse students pursuing different levels of study across different local economies.
So this isn’t a measure of absolute earnings – no one is surprised that Harvard graduates earn a lot ten years after graduating. Rather, it’s a measure of which colleges seem to boost earnings the most – beyond what would otherwise be expected. We’ll have a lot more on this data in other articles, but for now, here’s Connecticut schools ranked by 10-year value add – that is, how much more did 2001 graduates earn in 2011 than would otherwise be expected? We’ve also included the average 2011 earnings (of 2001 graduates).
Connecticut Value Added Rankings
Rankings Produced 2015 by Brookings using Class of 1997-2001 college demographic data and 2011 (ten-year) median earning data. 10 Year Earnings are average 2011 annual salary for the 2011 graduating class.
Next: Northeastern colleges, most competitive colleges, and big lessons from national value-added rankings.