Wilkes University, one of four colleges participating in the City of Mesa’s higher education initiative, has been named one of the top 20 Pennsylvania colleges with the greatest lifetime return on investment by the web site AffordableCollegesOnline.org. Wilkes is ranked 16th on the list of 81 colleges and universities in the state that offer a good return on a student’s investment in higher education.
Only 81 of more than 400 schools in Pennsylvania made the list. Graduates from these schools enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over 30 years, and earn more on average than graduates from other Pennsylvania schools. Wilkes outranks all of its peer institution in the northeast Pennsylvania region.
Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy says that the University is committed to bringing the same educational value to its students in Mesa.
“It is heartening to receive this endorsement from Affordable Colleges Online, because we have long emphasized the value of a Wilkes education,” says Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy. “We may not be the low-cost provider in our recruiting market; nor are we the premium price option. But at Wilkes we strive to be the highest value option. The return on investment – the ROI –should be a consideration in choosing a college. Time and again our graduates praise the value of the education they receive at Wilkes. This ranking reaffirms it.”
“These are important lists for prospective students to consider,” says AC Online founder Dan Schuessler. “We’ve sifted through comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in Pennsylvania that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”
AC Online developed the following criteria for consideration as a “High ROI College”:
• Fully accredited institution
• Either public or private
• Four-year, degree-granting institution
• ROI according to PayScale’s 2013 College Value Report
“Wilkes is a unique university because we offer the activities of a major research university – over 30 academic programs, 16 NCAA sports, opportunities for undergraduate research -- in the culture of a small liberal arts college. There is great value in that,” Leahy says.
In Mesa, Wilkes is offering master’s degree programs in business administration, classroom technology, creative writing, engineering management, mechanical engineering and teaching English as a second language. The University is hosting a graduate information session from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, for adults interested in pursuing an advanced degree. The information session will be held at the Mesa Center for Higher Education, located at 245 W. Second St. in Mesa.
AC Online arrived at its list of high ROI schools by using the following data sets:
• NCES (http://nces.gov/
), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. It provides consistent, reliable, complete, and accurate indicators of education status and trends.
• IPEDS (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
), the primary federal source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary schools in the U.S.
• Carnegie Classification (http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/
), a framework widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control for institutional differences, and also in the design of research studies to ensure adequate representation of sampled institutions, students, or faculty.
About Wilkes University:
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Recently named one of the fastest growing universities in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilkes offers the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees and more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing.
About AC Online:
Affordable Colleges Online provides students with information about affordable higher education options. The website offers financial aid videos, expert advice, and cost savings ideas. AC Online is a trusted resource for college stats and rankings. Most recently the site launched a feature that provides students with a categorized directory of free online introductory, or "101", classes from several top named U.S. universities such as MIT, Michigan and U.C. Berkeley.