NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Choosing the Best College”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the choosing the best college.  Mike, many high school seniors are now busy finishing up their college applications.  There are many factors that go in to picking a college for a young person to attend.  From an economic viewpoint, what are the most important considerations?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. first, the payoff
  2. average college grad will see a boost in lifetime income of between $800,000

and $1 million in today’s dollars

  1. but this payoff varies by major and by college
  2. so find data on the payoff for both college considering as well as major
  3. next – % of freshman graduating in 4 years
  4. surprising low for most schools – under 50% – which means more expense
  5. although this factor is certainly influenced by the study, can also indicate the

degree of student support

  1. last – tuition and fees, after subtracting support – then compare to salary payoff
  2. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension