UT Is Second-Best Value in Nation, Survey Finds

University of Texas at Austin alumni get the second-best bang for their buck in the country when comparing the cost of their degree to their average salaries, according to a new ranking released today.

The new “Payback survey” by SmartMoney compared cost of attendance and the median salaries for both recent graduates and mid-career workers and found that UT-Austin alumni have the second-highest payback ratio of any U.S. university.

The Payback Score is an average of those groups’ current income, expressed as a percentage of their sticker-price tuition and fees, according to the SmartMoney site.

The survey notes that college tuition in the United States has doubled since 2001, and UT-Austin’s low cost and high value offers proof that the state’s flagship university is among the nation’s best buys.

The Georgia Institute of Technology ranked first, with a payback ratio of 221. UT-Austin came in second at 194.

According to SmartMoney, the four-year cost in tuition and fees for a 2009 UT-Austin graduate was $91,596. A recent graduate’s median pay is $49,100.

For the UT-Austin class of 1996, the four-year cost was $26,115. Now that cohort’s median salary is $87,500.

UT came in ahead of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Clemson, as well as the University of Virginia, Dartmouth, and Harvard.

File photo by Val Cook.


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