Study: University of Baltimore Degrees Rank High for ROI
Is your college experience worth the cost?
University of Baltimore graduates can expect a return on investment (ROI) and increasing value over their career, according to a 2022 study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.
UBalt ranks fourth among public universities in Maryland—and in the top 25 percent nationally—for net value over 40 years.
Additionally, UBalt sits at the top of the list of public four-year colleges designated as Predominantly Black Institutions for net value at 20, 30 and 40 years. It ranks third nationally at 15 years.
The study uses net present value to estimate graduates' wealth over time after deducting the cost of their education, Hoang Nguyen, associate professor for the department of accounting, finance and economics, explains.
"We're looking at the story of what do you pay and what do you get back," Nguyen says.
The study estimates that UBalt students who earn a bachelor's degree can see their value increase to $1.2 million over the course of their career. That would be based on the salary they earn and the raises they make over time, Nguyen says.
The study considers the 40-year horizon as the best benchmark for judging value, though UBalt also ranked well at the 10-, 20-, and 30-year marks when compared to other public state institutions. Simply put, UBalt's ROI is strong compared to other public state colleges, and overall, public state colleges ranked better than private universities.
The center's report calls out an important omission from the study: while the rankings show how universities compare to each other, missing is the alternative of not investing in a college degree.
Some institutions included in the study show negative values at varying intervals after graduation. Overall, however, studies show that college students earn more over their lifetime than professionals with less education, says Lakeisha Mathews, director of UBalt's Career and Internship Center and past president of the Maryland Career Development Association.
"The investment in higher education, especially a UBalt degree, makes you marketable to more employers, expands your network—because most of our alumni remain in the Baltimore metropolitan area—and helps students with social mobility by launching new careers, changing careers or advancing their career," she says.
UBalt's city-center location drives career success
One of the unique aspects of a University of Baltimore education is the opportunities students have for professional and personal growth outside the classroom, particularly because of the University's central location in Baltimore and connection with local employers.
"The city truly is our classroom and you find UBalt students and alumni volunteering, interning and working in almost every neighborhood in Baltimore city," Mathews says. "Because of our location and connection to the city, there is no shortage of employers seeking to recruit UBalt students."
Students can find nearly 4,000 opportunities each semester in the University's jobs database, UBWorks, Mathews says. The Career Center offers resume writing assistance, interview practice, alumni networking opportunities, personalized career coaches, and more to further support students' professional development. The center also has created partnerships across the University to tie career development to academic programs, such as hosting a career fair for the accounting program and an etiquette dinner with the School of Health and Human Services.
What our students are saying
"The financial aspect of it really matters to me a lot. I want to be able to be financially stable for my family."
-Darlene Medina, a psychology major and first-generation college student
"Getting a degree is not the only way for success, but it was the best option for me, and this opportunity has been amazing so far. It's something that I could look back and be proud of."
-David Wheeler, a first-generation college student in the forensic studies program, forensic investigations concentration
"I started out as a medical coder and that's been my passion and when I got into the healthcare system I realized that healthcare management would be a way for me to really move up and become a director."
-Mary Alexander, who worked full time while she pursed her B.S. in Health Management
"It's just creating more opportunities for my family. I want to be able to give my son everything. And I think especially now, having a degree is so important to be able to do the things that I want to do, to be able to help people the way I want to and be a part of something bigger than myself."
-Charissa Rogge, a human services administration major and first-generation college student
Get insights into The University of Baltimore's many other rankings and accolades.