Nearly Half Of Master's Degrees Have Negative ROI

A recent study by the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP) reveals that over 40% of master's degrees may not be financially worth obtaining. The study examined career earnings at graduation and a decade later, adjusting for factors such as dropout rates. It found that 77% of four-year bachelor degrees have a positive return on investment (ROI), compared to just 57% of master's degrees.

The subject of study significantly influences financial return. For undergraduate studies, engineering, computer science, and nursing degrees yield the highest returns, while fine arts, education, and biology programs have the lowest median return. The average ROI for a bachelor’s degree is about $160,000, but degrees in particularly lucrative fields could exceed $500,000.

For graduate studies, law, medicine, and dentistry were found to be the most lucrative. However, the study's author, Preston Cooper, emphasizes that ROI should not be the only consideration for students approaching the college decision. The ROI estimates can help students and their families make better choices regarding higher education.

The study comes amid increasing scrutiny on the cost of higher education. Undergraduate tuition could reach as high as $95,000 at some universities, while millions of Americans are burdened with substantial student debt.

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