Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Behind only California Institute of Technology and ahead of MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and many others, Colgate today was ranked second-highest among four-year schools for “value-added” with respect to mid-career earnings.

A new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, titled Beyond College Rankings, a Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools, is the first to study a broad array of colleges on economic outcomes for graduates, using a blend of government and private data sources, including Linkedin and PayScale.

It also factors in seven quality metrics: Curriculum value, percent graduating in a STEM field, alumni skills, graduation rate, retention rate, aid per student, and instructional staff.

Read here for a summary of the report and the list of  the “10 universities that will increase your career earnings the most.”

According to Inside Higher Education, “Brookings characterizes the unobservable reasons why an institution might provide a large value-added boost to its graduates as ‘x factors,’ and attributes 59 percent of Colgate’s value added to such unobserved factors.”

Jonathan Rothwell, lead author and a fellow at Brookings, said, “It’s not the majors that are driving their student success, and it’s not the skills they list on résumés. It may be they have access to great teachers; it may be that their alumni networks are strong.”

According to Brookings, the survey improves on conventional rankings in several ways. The survey includes a much larger number of schools; it focuses on factors that best predict measurable economic outcomes; and it attempts to isolate the effect colleges themselves have on those outcomes, above and beyond what students’ backgrounds would predict.

“This report is serious and comprehensive,” said President Jeffrey Herbst. “The focus on outcomes makes it superior to other rankings. It measures salaries, which is important but not, of course, the whole story. The report articulates the power of our Colgate University professional networks .”

The timing of the new survey from Brookings is attracting widespread media attention, as it comes as many families are in the final throes of weighing college admission and aid offers.

So far, Colgate has been mentioned by Inside Higher EducationNational JournalCNN Money, cbs.com, National Journal, Fusion, and Huffington Post.

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