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Return on Investment

Federal Database Shows Maryland Students Owe Less, Get Paid More

By Maryland Today Staff

Students walking; According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education, UMD students graduate with less debt and get higher-paying jobs after graduation, on average, than students from other Maryland, Big Ten and U.S. universities.

Photo by John T. Consoli

According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education, UMD students graduate with less debt and get higher-paying jobs after graduation, on average, than students from other Maryland, Big Ten and U.S. universities.

Students earning bachelor’s degrees at the University of Maryland have less debt and head into jobs with higher pay than the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s recently released College Scorecard.

The scorecard is an attempt by the federal government to offer more transparency about higher education costs, debt and payoff in the form of salaries after graduation (and it hasn’t debuted without some controversy).

Maryland students appear to be getting good value for their money, compared to peers at other institutions in the state, the Big Ten Conference and the nation as a whole.

“When we started looking at these data, we were very pleased,” said Sharon A. La Voy, assistant vice president for institutional research, planning and assessment in the Division of Academic Affairs. “When you talk about return on investment … we look good.”

While the numbers are encouraging, the data they’re based on applies to only about 40% of undergraduate students—those who graduated and received federal student aid, said Dawit Lemma, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid.

“It doesn’t include loans parents borrowed on behalf of students, or private loans to students,” he said.

Beyond the fact the data covers only a minority of students, La Voy identified several other caveats: The median earnings and debt reports cover students who graduated in different years, fields of study don’t correspond to specific majors, and data is not available for every field of study.

Read on for some of the highlights from the new College Scorecard.

College scorecard infographic

Schools & Departments:

Office of the Provost

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