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ASU cited for its high return on investment

July 24, 2013

Arizona State University ranks as having the highest return on investment for public universities in Arizona, according to a new study by Affordable Colleges Online (ACO), San Francisco.

ACO identified the Arizona colleges and universities with the greatest lifetime return on investment. Graduates of these schools enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders, over a 30-year span, according to ACO.

Their ranking, “AC Online: Highest Return on Investment Colleges in Arizona,” put Arizona State University as the top public university in the state with a return on investment of $752,000 (see:

“ASU has been recognized as number one in Arizona by a number of different ranking organizations,” said ASU Provost Elizabeth D. Phillips. “We have the top law, business, education, nursing, public affairs, fine arts and engineering graduate schools in Arizona, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. And ASU has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best in the nation at preparing students to land jobs that are satisfying, well-paying and have growth potential.”

ACO analyzed 139 Arizona colleges and ranked the top four according to several criteria, including net tuition prices, a graduate’s average starting salary and return on investment calculation, and accredited, four-year degree granting institutions, either public or private. ASU was ranked highest of the publics and second only to specialized Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University among all schools in the state.

ACO used data sets provided by:
• NCES, the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.
• IPEDS, the primary federal source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary schools in the U.S.
• Carnegie Classification, a framework widely used in the study of higher education – both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences – and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students or faculty.
•, a salary data collection organization.

“These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” says ACO founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Arizona that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”