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UMass Lowell Ranked 10th Nationally for Return on Investment Among Public Universities

PayScale Inc. Report Also Puts University in Top 50 for ROI Among All Institutions


Contacts:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or
                 Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – A UMass Lowell education provides the 10th best return on investment (ROI) among public universities in the U.S. according to a report released by PayScale Inc.

The report examined 1,060 U.S. colleges and universities to determine their return on investment based on the total cost of attending and the lifetime earning potential of graduates. It ranked UMass Lowell 10th among 437 public universities and 50th out of all colleges and universities for 2013. The top 10 and top 50 respective rankings are the university’s highest in the four years that PayScale Inc. has offered analysis of ROI for college education.

“The empirical data helps put into context what our alumni already know, which is that a UMass Lowell education offers an incredibly high value for the investment,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “The earning potential of our graduates is even more impressive when considering the low cost of attending UMass Lowell relative to some of the private institutions delivering similar or less return on investment.” 

According to the PayScale report, the median present value return on investment for UMass Lowell graduates over 30 years, less the cost of their education, is $1.1 million, representing an 8.8 percent annual return. UMass Lowell is one of just 75 colleges and universities in the country – public and private – with a 30-year net ROI of more than $1 million.  

To generate the ROI report, PayScale analyzed more than 40 million career profiles generated through its own salary surveys, as well as data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) produced by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 

In addition to the PayScale report, UMass Lowell appeared on a list of “Best Value Schools” recently published by former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett in his book, “Is College Worth it?”

The recognition signals that UMass Lowell remains a campus on the move. The university is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s Best Colleges 2013 puts UMass Lowell at No. 170 on its Best National Universities list, among the top tier in the country and an increase of seven places over 2012. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has upgraded UMass Lowell’s classification to Doctoral Research/High in recognition of the quality of the university’s research and graduate programs. The foundation, along with the 2012 President’s Higher Education Honor Roll, also recognized UMass Lowell for its commitment to community outreach and service. 

UMass Lowell annually delivers a positive economic impact on the region of $490 million, according to the UMass Donahue Institute. Of UMass Lowell’s 78,380 alumni, 48,400 are Massachusetts residents, and 85 percent of graduates stay in Massachusetts for five years after graduation with 65 percent staying longer. The Chronicle of Higher Education has singled out UMass Lowell as having the fastest-growing graduation rate of all New England public institutions. 

UMass Lowell – which has graduated record numbers of students at each of the last five Commencement ceremonies and this year will have its first graduating class of more than 3,000 – has seen enrollment grow by 40 percent in the last five years. This year, the student body numbers more than 16,000 for the first time in the university’s history and represents more than 53 countries. Average SAT scores for first-year students have climbed 56 points over six years and 82 percent of UMass Lowell freshmen continue on to their sophomore year. 

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.