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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Best colleges for economic payoff

Which colleges are best at helping students graduate, earn more and pay back their student loans? The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the ETC College Rankings Index. 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks first in improving students’ economic success on the ETC index.

Next in line are UCLA, Brigham Young, William and Mary, University of Virginia (main campus), UC-Irvine, Pomona, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), College of Saint Benedict and Swarthmore.

Educate To Career analyzes colleges’ economic value by looking at outcomes, including graduation rates, earnings and student loan payment rates, while controlling for students’ SAT/ACT scores. That’s why Saint Benedict outranks Harvard.

Other rankings show a correlation between median SAT/ACT scores and school rankings, said Michael R. Havis, ETC’s president. “They’re really ranking students– while we are actually ranking colleges.”

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