Here’s How College Pays Off For You

Engineering students from the class of 2019 graduate at CSU Long Beach.Brittany Murray/SCNG via ZUMA

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Do you have a college degree? Do you ever wonder about how worthwhile it really is, moneywise? Wonder no more. A team of boffins at Georgetown University has created a database of universities that ranks the average value of graduating as measured by net present value.

I graduated 38 years ago, so the 40-year NPV is the best measure for me. Here it is:

Not bad! I’ve earned a million extra bucks thanks to my degree from Cal State Long Beach. This narrowly beats out the local competition at CSU Fullerton but lags the performance of the shiny new CSU Channel Islands campus. Out of a total of 4,529 schools in the database, CSULB ranks 441st. I find this a little surprising, though I can’t say for sure why.

As it turns out, the highest NPV comes from schools that specialize in pharmacy and maritime degrees. This doesn’t surprise me a lot, since any school that specializes in a particular field is likely to have a higher average than a school that offers degrees in lots of subjects, including those that don’t pay especially well. (Unless the school specializes in a low-paying field, of course, like theology.)

In any case, it turns out that CSU schools do only slightly worse than UC schools. So if it’s money that interests you, and you live in California, you might want to think about attending your local CSU university and calling it a day. They’re easier to get into, easier to graduate from, and cheaper to attend. What more could you want?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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