How do graduates of Minnesota State Community and Technical College fare financially in their careers? Very well, according to a study that considered the “value-added” by degrees from two- and four-year colleges nationwide.
M State ranked in the top 10 among two-year colleges with the best return on investment in the first-of-its-kind study by Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Another Minnesota college, Carleton College in Northfield, was ranked in the top 10 among the nation’s four-year institutions.
The study indicated that graduates of M State earn more than their peers from similar colleges, based on salary and other data from government and private sources. At mid-career, according to the report, M State graduates earned on average $59,900, or 13 percent more than similar graduates of comparable colleges.
The study measured the income graduates earn, the occupations in which they work and their loan repayment rates.
The Brookings report is welcome good news for both M State students and for college staff and faculty, M State President Peggy Kennedy said.
“We work hard to ensure all our students are successful, and it’s gratifying to have our efforts and the accomplishments of our graduates recognized,” she said.
The study’s authors wrote that value-added, as defined in the report, reflects both measurable aspects of college quality such as graduation rates and the market value of the skills it teaches, along with “unmeasurable ‘x factors,’ like exceptional leadership or teaching, that contribute to student success.”
M State Chief Academic Officer Carrie Brimhall said M State works diligently to align its programs with the needs of industry, and faculty work with advisory committees that provide valuable advice about industry needs and expectations.
“We’re extremely fortunate to be connected to our communities and our many partners in valuable ways,” she said, “and we’re proud to see how the connections are impacting the lives of our students.”
M State offers more than 70 career and liberal arts programs on its campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena and online through eCampus. Annual tuition and fees for a full-time student are $5,424.
The full Brookings Institution report, called Beyond College Rankings, is available at brookings.edu.