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Brookings ranks Loyola in top 2% for value added to economic success of graduates

| By Nick Alexopulos
Brookings Institution value-added graphic Loyola University Maryland
(Graphic courtesy of the Brookings Institution)

Loyola University Maryland is ranked in the top 2 percent of more than 2,400 four-year U.S. colleges and universities for economic value added to the mid-career salary of its alumni, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The report, “Beyond College Rankings: A Value Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools,” found a Loyola education adds nearly 30 percent to the predicted mid-career salary of graduates from institutions with similar characteristics and students. The mid-career salary for these graduates is $75,000; the mid-career salary of a typical Loyola graduate is $101,000. Loyola’s score of 95 out of 100 in this category is highest of any school in Maryland and includes Loyola among only three other Jesuit institutions and one other Patriot League institution ranked in the top 50 nationally.

Quality measures contributing to Loyola’s value-added ranking include curriculum value, graduation and retention rates, labor market value of alumni skills, average financial support offered by the institution, and “x-factor” characteristics—where Loyola excelled the most—like student ambition, alumni networks, and administration and teaching quality.

“Each day I am humbled by stories of Loyola alumni who attribute their continued, distinguished success to the transformative educational experiences—both in and out of the classroom—they were afforded at this university,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola. “Much like each new story of an accomplished graduate, this comprehensive analysis by Brookings affirms our commitment as a Jesuit institution to preparing future leaders to recognize every challenge as an opportunity for intellectual and personal growth, and to ensuring that preparation transcends their academic and professional pursuits.”

Loyola also received a high score in the category measuring value added to the occupational earnings power of a typical graduate, good for a ranking in the top 6 percent of all four-year U.S. institutions. The score is based on how much more Loyola graduates earn above the average salary for their occupations, across all levels of experience and career fields. Actual occupational earnings power for a Loyola graduate is 5.6 percent higher than predicted by student and school characteristics of similar colleges and universities.

Brookings calculated the rankings using a blend of government and private data; one of the private data sources is PayScale.com, which recently ranked Loyola in the top 6 percent of U.S. universities for return on investment.

Brookings says the value-added measures introduced in the report improve on conventional rankings because they are available for a much larger number of schools; they focus on the factors that best predict measurable economic outcomes; and they attempt to isolate the effect colleges themselves have on those outcomes, above and beyond what students’ backgrounds would predict.

The full report is available at brookings.edu.

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