A little validation for us Huskies from the folks at SmartMoney and their sources — The College Board; U.S. Department of Education and Payscale.com. It will be likely reassuring to UW students and parents who view college through an (arguably narrow) “vocational” lens.
While its intuitive that — holding all other variables as equal — graduates from more selective schools will earn higher salaries, it’s also clear that these schools cost a lot more. If you weigh those numbers against each other the way SmartMoney does, the Georgia Institute of Technology comes out on top in terms of ROI. The UW comes in 6th, Harvard ranks 24th and Yale is 33.
Before I get too smug here, it should be noted that PayScale did their own analysis in 2012, and depending on how you decide to sort their table, Georgia is still number one, and Harvard comes in 6th place. Then again it might be Harvey Mudd. In that latter scenario UW drops to 22 (Harvard is 21).
It should be recognized that the SmartMoney analysis assumes students are paying out of state tuition. Those paying local rates (about 40% the cost) benefit from a significantly higher return.