University was ranked #136 in College Risk-Reward Indicator study

March 6, 2020

Brandeis University was ranked #136 in the annual College Risk-Reward Indicator (CRRI) study, with a score of 4.42. Princeton University in Princeton, NJ ranked first with a CRRI score of 47.44.

The study defines the risk of attending a university or college as the average debt each graduate from a school has after graduating, measured in student loans. The reward in the study is the average pay at the beginning of the graduates’ career, which is the median salary for those with a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience. 

At 136, Brandeis is a place below the University of South Florida, with a score of 4.43, and above the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has a score of 4.41. Harvard University came in second with a score of 33.5, while San Francisco State University, with a score of 31.25, was third.

Brandeis was ranked 10th in Massachusetts, following Harvard University (CRRI 33.50), Amherst College (15.51; seventh in the US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (13.11; 11th), Williams College (10.62; 17th), Wellesley College (7.09; 40th), Tufts University (7.05; 42nd), Fisher College (7.03; 44th), Boston College (6.47; 64th) and Babson College (4.75; 118th).  

The study measures and ranks the return on investment for students based on the Class of 2018 rather than 2019 due to the delay in data collection. 

The study says that institutions with the highest CRRI values “should be considered as the best risk-adjusted choices for undergraduate students, [while]…institutions with the lowest CRRI values should be considered the worst risk-adjusted choices for prospective students.” 

According to a LendEDU article, the return on investment has become a major factor in students’ decisions when it comes to what college to attend. LendEDU data shows that, on average, students with a loan graduate with $28,000 in debt. When students with no loans are included, the average decreases to $16,000. 

Students are to factor in projected salary and debt levels after graduation, as the higher the salary after graduation, the easier it will be for students to repay their loans. In response to these issues, LendEDU began releasing the College Risk-Reward Indicator, which ranks universities and colleges in terms of the best return on investment for students. 
The study analyzed 798 four-year institutions throughout the United States. The data that LendEDU used came from Peterson’s Financial Aid Dataset and PayScale according to the article. Peterson’s dataset, which was collected through a survey to the institutions that were included in the study, which was voluntary. From the survey, LendEDU found the percentage of graduates with debt from student loans as well as the average student loan debt per borrower. Then the PayScale’s College Salary Report of 2019 was used to find the median salary for students that graduated from each institution with less than five years of work experience. Only institutions that were included in both sources were used in the final study.

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