July 29, 2020

UCR among national leaders in degrees that 'pay off'

CNBC ranks UCR No. 14 in the nation for conferring degrees that yield high returns compared to cost

Author: J.D. Warren
July 29, 2020

UC Riverside ranked No. 14 among universities nationally in CNBC Make It’s annual “50 Colleges that Pay Off the Most” list.

Editors for CNBC Make-It, which is a business-news site, said the ranking carries greater weight due to scrutiny of higher education costs-benefits in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These past several years, a thread that consistently runs through UC Riverside’s college rankings success is social mobility – the degree to which we lift our graduates into higher income brackets,” said Kim A. Wilcox, UC Riverside’s chancellor. “The CNBC ranking demonstrates that a UCR degree is a check our graduates can expect to cash in the workplace.”

In its 2020 college rankings, U.S. News & World Report named UC Riverside the No. 1 university in the nation for social mobility.

The methodology behind the CNBC rankings released July 28 considers college cost after scholarships and grants for families making between $48,001-$75,000. Next, CNBC factored the median salary for alumni at four-year universities with less than five years’ work experience, and for alumni with more than 10 years’ experience.

UCR’s average annual net cost for in-state students is $13,184, according to numbers generated by The Hechinger Report’s Tuition Tracker utility. The median salary for alumni with 10-plus years’ work experience is $106,900, according to PayScale’s College Salary Report. Both reports were used to compile the CNBC rankings.

“Information about earnings tied to a college education is one piece of data,” said Lydia Frank, vice president of content strategy for PayScale. “It’s an important piece, because if you are funding your education through loans, it makes a ton of sense to understand your capacity for paying that off after graduation.”

UCR’s No. 14 ranking places the university just behind No. 13 UC San Diego, and ahead of other UC campuses including Irvine (No. 16); Davis (No. 19) and Santa Barbara (No. 22). University of Washington, Bothell led among public universities, with the private-university list led by Stanford University.

The 2020 social mobility accolade from U.S. News was one of many recent recognitions for UCR tied to its record of success with low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students. Money Magazine named UCR its No. 1 most transformative university, and Forbes named UCR the No. 12 public university on its “America’s Best Value Colleges” list.

In its second year, CNBC’s Colleges that Pay Off list expanded to include separate categories for public and private schools. This past year, the list was not ranked, and UCR was among 15 private and public universities acknowledged.

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