Measuring Fordham’s Return on Investment


Parents and students alike wonder about the importance of a college degree in the job market, as bachelor’s degrees become more common. According to PayScale’s Return on Investment (ROI) ranking, Fordham University is in the top 14 percent, with a total four-year cost of $239,700, including tuition and living expenses, and a 20-year net ROI of $453,300. While it may seem, according to PayScale ,that Fordham is Bargain College, it was also ranked number 7 in Forbes magazine’s top entitled “America’s Most Expensive Colleges” in 2012.

The ROI scale takes into account the full cost of tuition and living expenses, without financial aid, the average student loans and the average starting salary of graduates. Out of 1223 considered colleges, Fordham is ranked number 146. The scale was created to better understand the value of college education in the job market. According to The College Board, although an average 80 percent of financial need is met at the University, Fordham students graduate with an average of $29,320 in loans, right below the national average of $30,000, according to the 2015 PayScale ROI report.

The typical early career salary of the Fordham graduate is of $50,200, according to the PayScale report.
Michael Madden, FCLC alumnus ’13 and a former communication and media studies major, believes that the school’s location accounts for several opportunities that he has been presented with. “My whole experience at Lincoln Center, being in the heart of Manhattan and having so many opportunities at my fingertips, I kind of took it upon myself to branch out,” he said.

When asked about the opportunities the University has to offer, Madden said that how the students take advantage of them is equally important. “I think it depends a lot on what you as a student put into it, all the hard work and the long nights,” he stated. “If you put all of that in you will get much more in return.”
Madden now works as a producer for FiOS1 News.

Jesuit universities do not rank high across the board. St. Joseph’s University of Philadelphia, another private Jesuit university, is ranked 785, with a total 4-year cost of $211,900 and a 20 year ROI of $177,900. Loyola University of Maryland has a total 4-year cost of $222,800 and a 20-year ROI of $550,200, according to the ROI scale.

The number one spot on the scale is held by Harvey Mudd College, a small, 4-year, private college of engineering and liberal arts, from California, with a reported typical early career salary of $75,600. The college’s total 4 year cost is $237,700, very close to Fordham’s, while its 20 Year Net ROI is $985,300. Although Fordham’s spot in the PayScale report solidifies its status as a Bargain College, it still remains one of the most expensive colleges in the United States. Fordham is also at the top of the scale when it comes to private research universities in the United States. The typical early career salary of the Fordham graduate is of $50,200, according to the PayScale report.