The Equality of Opportunity Project has a new data set about the earnings of college graduates and the incomes of their parents which I used for the following table. I selected the schools that my 18-year old has visited (underlined below) as well as a few others for comparison. Bluffton University looks pretty good by the ratio of the median income of our graduates divided by the median income of the families that paid for their education. We do better than any of the other schools my son has visited and much better than any of the Ivy League schools except Cornell which only does slightly better than Bluffton at producing median upward mobility.
|Ranking||School name||Median family income of parents||Median income of graduates at age 34||Graduate/family income|
|1||Vaughn College Of Aeronautics And Technology||$30,900||$53,000||1.72|
|2||City College Of New York – CUNY||$35,500||$48,500||1.37|
|1472||Eastern Mennonite University||$79,700||$39,600||.44|
|2202 (last)||The School of Paul Mitchell, Costa Mesa, CA||$85,200||$10,300||.12|
According to the researchers, median income at age 34 is a good predictor of later lifetime income, so this gives a fair comparison of how our average graduates are getting paid. The schools whose graduates earn the most are technical schools that graduate pharmacists and engineers. They earn considerably more than the median Ivy League graduates.
This table doesn’t give a perfect measure of upward mobility for several reasons, but in particular, it only looks at the median income of graduates and some schools have terribly low graduation rates, particularly the for-profit schools. For example, the median income of graduates of the University of Phoenix look pretty good in this data set, but their graduation rate was only 10% at their Detroit campus which had a student loan default rate of 26.4%. Their default rate was over two and a half times greater than their graduation rate! In contrast, Bluffton’s student loan default rate has been very low at 6% (average over 2011-2013, the most recent years available), particularly when Bluffton’s modest family income is taken into account.
The area that Bluffton really excels at is what my parents used to joke is “the MRS degree.” The New York Times ranked Bluffton 8th in the nation out of 578 selective private colleges by our marriage rate.
The lowest marriage rate at any selective private college was at Philander Smith College where only 16% of graduates were married in 2014. That might seem to suggest that there are more philanderers at Philander Smith.