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SMSU Recognized for Return on Investment

Published Monday, August 5, 2013

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 Southwest Minnesota State University is ranked sixth among colleges and universities in Minnesota for Best Lifetime Return on Investment by (AC Online).

A total of 145 Minnesota colleges were analyzed, and of those, 22 were ranked. Graduates from the ranked schools enjoy the largest earning gap between non-degree holders over 30 years, and earn more on average than graduates from other Minnesota schools.

SMSU is the highest-ranked of the seven four-year institutions within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. The University of Minnesota is ranked second, and the other four institutions in the top six are all private colleges.

According to the rankings, the yearly SMSU tuition and fees are $8,074, with a Return on Investment of $630,600. SMSU has the third-lowest tuition and fees cost of the 22 ranked schools.

“The ranking affirms what we have known, that SMSU is a real educational value,” said SMSU President Dr. Connie J. Gores. “When you consider how successful our graduates have been at finding employment, it’s clear that we are preparing our students well for their futures.”

Ninety-nine percent of recent SMSU graduates are employed, and 95 percent found jobs in their areas of study (2012 data).

“These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” said AC Online founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Minnesota that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoff in the workplace.”

It marks the second time in eight weeks that SMSU has been honored for affordability and new-graduate earnings. In June, The College Database recognized SMSU in its “20-30 Club,” a dozen state institutions that have an annual tuition rate below $20,000 and new graduates who earn more than $30,000 per year, on average.

“Being honored twice for our educational value says a lot about SMSU,” said President Gores. “SMSU is committed to keeping costs down, so our students receive a quality education at an affordable price.”

AC Online compiled its list of institutions using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS),’s 2013 College Earnings Report and the Carnegie Foundation.
Affordable Colleges Online provides students with information about affordable higher education options. “We aim to educate so that potential students are aware of their options for obtaining a degree and, most importantly, for paying for one,” said Schuessler.

The Minnesota list of ranked colleges by Affordable Colleges Online can be found at:

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Tags: Academic Deans' Office, Admission, Admission Undergraduate, Advancement Office, Alumni Relations, Athletics, City of Marshall, College Now, Communications and Marketing, Data Management and Institutional Research, Foundation, Marshall Public Schools, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, President's Office, Provost's Office, Vice President for Finance and Administration

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