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New study finds value of Portland State degree outpaces OSU and UO in 10 years
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: January 22, 2020
Portland State graduates in 2010 In 10 years, students graduating from Portland State University are earning a higher return on the investment they made in their higher education degree than their counterparts at Oregon State University and University of Oregon, according to a new study out from Georgetown University.
 
The calculated value of a PSU undergraduate degree comes to $110,000 in 10 years. That compares to the $100,000 value of a four-year degree from University of Oregon and $91,000 from Oregon State University.
 

After 15 years, the value evens out somewhat with PSU and OSU degrees both worth $286,000 and the UO degree calculated at $277,000. 
 
The study, from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, set out to determine the value of a liberal arts education by looking at the median return on investment over different time horizons. The study was based on data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.
 
“Increasingly, those thinking about higher education are looking for an immediate return on investment in a four-year college degree, and this study shows that Portland State is delivering that for our students,” said Susan Jeffords, PSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “PSU is committed to providing an excellent educational value and ensuring our students are successful in pursuing their goals.”  
 
Annual tuition for resident undergraduates in 2018-19 was $9,183 at Portland State University 29 percent less than University of Oregon at $11,898 and 20 percent more affordable than Oregon State at $11,070.
 
Ten years ago, Christian Aniciete was getting ready to graduate from Portland State University with a bachelor’s in marketing, one of 3,525 bachelor's degrees awarded by the university to the class of 2010.  
 
Aniciete, who immigrated from the Philippines to Hillsboro, Oregon, with his family at age 10, said he chose PSU for his undergraduate education because of its urban location and its reputation for diversity and inclusion. 

“It was not too far from home but the urban location allowed me to independently figure out what I wanted to do and who I was,” Anciete said. 

PSU’s location in downtown Portland allowed him to build a professional network, he said, and the connections he made eventually led him to his current job as the social media manager for the Port of Portland. 

“I always felt like it was a hub of opportunity right in the middle of Portland,” he said.