UA = great return on investment, says new survey


The University of Akron offers the best return on investment (ROI) for its students of any public university in Northeast Ohio, according to Affordable Colleges Online (ACO), which has identified the colleges and universities in Ohio with the "greatest lifetime return on investment."

The University of Akron

UA offers the best lifetime return on investment for its students of any public university in Northeastern Ohio. See the Ohio list.

The just-released survey from ACO offers prospective college students and their parents a bottom line comparison of the cost of a degree at a specific school vs. how much its graduates earn over a 30-year span. After analyzing data from 389 four-year schools in Ohio — ranging from public and private colleges to technical and vocational postsecondary schools, ACO ranked 44 schools for their high ROI.

"We've sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Ohio that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace, says Dan Schuessler, who founded the San Francisco-based organization to help students and parents analyze their options.


Data sources for the "Colleges in Ohio with High ROI" survey include:

  •'s 2013 College Earnings Report
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
  • The National Center for Education Statistics
  • The Carnegie Foundation

Earning potential

For UA's Jim Tressel, the recognition is welcome and gratifying. As vice president for strategic engagement, he oversees many resources students rely on throughout their years as UA — from admissions and financial aid to the service learning and career-related opportunities — that enhance their career preparation.

After delivering the commencement address, University President Luis Proenza congratulates a group of happy graduates ready to launch their careers.

"We want each student's Akron Experience to be exceptional and successful as he or she prepares to embark on careers," says Tressel. "The ranking quantifies what we already know. The value we add to our degrees not only contributes to our graduates becoming well-rounded individuals, it also greatly increases their earning potential throughout their careers. Student success is our passion."

In the overall rankings, the top three spots are held by private universities: Case Western Reserve, Ohio Wesleyan and Ohio Northern. UA ranks 13th overall, ahead of several private schools and all public schools in Northeast Ohio.

To learn more about the survey, visit Affordable Colleges Online and see the rankings and methodology used in the process.