June 06, 2006

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new study of Class of 1999 graduates from Pennsylvania's independent colleges and universities showed that they earned significantly more than state residents without a bachelor's degree.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed five years after graduation earned between $40,000 and $60,000 a year compared to 26 percent of those Pennsylvania residents without a degree, according to the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).

Some 26 percent of the Pennsylvania graduates had annual earnings of as much as $80,000 while just 8 percent of those without a degree were earning a like amount. Eleven percent of the recent graduates earned as much as $100,000 a year. Two percent of those without a degree earned that much.

"As tuition prices increase, students, parents and policymakers seek assurances that their investment will pay dividends," said Don Francis, president of AICUP. "This study clearly demonstrates the economic and societal benefits of a private college education to the individual and the Commonwealth."

The findings were developed through a survey of 16,000 graduates of the Class of 1999 from 46 Pennsylvania private colleges and universities, including Bucknell.

In addition to the financial benefits for the individual, Pennsylvania benefited through additional tax revenue and through increased levels of home ownership, voter participation, and civic engagement.

Among other findings:

  • 83 percent were employed full time

  • 60 percent had already bought a home

  • 49 percent had completed or were enrolled in a program beyond the bachelor's

  • 81 percent of the native Pennsylvanians were still living in the state

  • 16 percent of the non-native Pennsylvania alumni still lived in the state

Visit the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania to read the complete report.

Posted June 6, 2006


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