The best value in higher education

So, lots of people around here sharing a recent Money ranking that put NC State as the “best value” for higher ed in NC.  What bothered me was one particular statistic that really helped NCSU:

It looked at cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, housing and food, and took into account average financial aid for students.

UNC had a lower estimated price after grants than N.C. State, but Money gave the overall edge to NCSU based on other factors, including the percentage of students receiving financial aid and early career earnings of alumni. Based on alumni reports to PayScale.com, early career earnings averaged $52,500 for NCSU graduates, $46,800 for UNC graduates and $62,000 for Duke graduates.

State graduates a ton of engineers every year.  That’s a great way to have a nice salary in your “early career.”  UNC graduates exactly 0 engineers every year.  I know these are blunt measures, but if this is going to be such a key component I strongly suspect that NCSU is not the best value if you are not an engineering major.  Not that I don’t love our Political Science degree :-).

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