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May 27

Written by: kmurphy
Thursday, May 27, 2010 

The Washington Post put out an article this week highlighting 5 common myths about college admission.  While many of them are worth pointing out, I do believe that the forth myth is the most important to keep in mind.  As you consider colleges, do pay attention to retention numbers and graduation rates as part of your selection criteria.

Myth 4: Selective colleges are too expensive and aren't worth the investment.
A selective institution with a large endowment may indeed be worth the money. The least selective colleges spend about $12,000 per student, compared with $92,000 per student at the most selective schools. Put another way, at the wealthiest 10 percent of institutions, students pay, on average, just 20 cents in fees for every dollar the school spends on them, while at the poorest 10 percent of institutions, students pay 78 cents for every dollar spent on them.

Furthermore, selective colleges are quite a bit better at retention: If a more selective school and a less selective school enroll two equally qualified students, the more selective school is much more likely to graduate its student. Future earnings are, on average, 45 percent higher for students who graduated from more selective institutions than for those from less selective ones, and the difference in earnings is widest among low-income students. And according to research by Thomas Dye, 54 percent of America's top 4,325 corporate leaders are graduates of just 12 institutions.



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