UNE ranked second best higher ed investment in Maine

July 16, 2013

University of New England graduates enjoy one of the greatest lifetime returns on investment in Maine, according to Affordable Colleges Online, a website reporting on higher education affordability. 

The website ranked UNE second in student return on investment (ROI) among 43 public and private colleges and universities in Maine, including four-year, degree-granting, fully accredited non-profit institutions.

Net tuition prices and graduates' average starting salaries and ROI calculation were key factors in the rankings.  The ROI ranking utilized 30-year salary data from PayScale.com's 2013 College Earnings Report.

"We're pleased, though not surprised, by this ranking. The University of New England has always delivered an outstanding return on investment for our students," says UNE President Danielle Ripich, Ph.D. "In addition to graduating with an excellent education, UNE students move on to rewarding careers, competitive graduate programs, and valuable community service. In fact, 90 percent of UNE Class of 2012 students are either employed in their field of choice or pursuing graduate/professional school."

The rankings were tabulated based on data provided by leading higher education sources:

  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education, which provides accurate indicators of education status and trends;
  • Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS),the  primary federal source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary schools in the United States;
  • Carnegie Classification, the 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; and
  • Payscale.com, which provides career-related data on a national, state, local, and individual basis.

Student loan default rates, a measure of students who are unable to pay back their loans, is another key measure of a university's return on investment. While the national student loan default rate is 13.4 percent and Maine's is at 11.5 percent, UNE's student default rate is just 3.3 percent.

"UNE is the largest educator of health care professionals for the state of Maine. Our students are highly sought after and enter careers that are in great demand.  UNE graduates honor their financial obligations, which is both a source of pride for us and a reflection of the quality of students we attract," adds Ripich.