WalletHub measured Campus Experience by looking at the share of international students, percentage of students living on campus, NCAA membership, study abroad opportunities, gender and racial diversity, on campus employment opportunities, and placement services for graduates.
The acknowledgement to gender and racial diversity follows recent trends in higher education schools, and their ranking bodies, looking at the experience of underrepresented minorities. Bloomberg Businessweek last month released its first ever Diversity Ranking while graduate business schools are implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and courses.
“Research demonstrates that students of color, first-generation college students and low-income students often experience chilly campus environments at Ivy League and exclusionary, elite institutions which are almost all predominantly white institutions that tend to enroll large shares of privileged students. These schools often are not equipped to support the holistic wellbeing and development of students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students,” Orphan says in the report.
“That culture of exclusion can carry over into the broader campus culture, and for students who are first in their families to attend to college or hold other marginalized identities, that same culture can be very alienating which calls into question the worth of such an experience.”
EDUCATION AND CAREER OUTCOMES
If a job after graduation is among the most important considerations, students can get an upper hand by exploring high-demand professions with projected workforce shortages, suggests Andrew Furco, professor of organizational leadership, policy and development at University of Minnesota.
“Students should consider arming themselves with the skills and academic credentials that will fill gaps in the workforce. In times of worker shortages, salaries usually increase, and company recruiters are more likely to sweeten the job offer pot with various incentives (including student loan payoffs) as they desperately try to secure skilled labor and talent,” Furco says.
Or, students who want to work in public service, may find not only great job-satisfaction but financial incentives well.
“The federal government has been considering expanding student loan forgiveness for graduates who take on careers in the public sector. Our country continues to face a severe shortage of workers in social service sectors and education. Students who are interested in such work should explore the kinds of student loans available that would qualify for forgiveness once they graduated,” he says.
WalletHub’s Career Outcomes metric measured return on educational investment, graduates offered full-time jobs within six months, median salary, share of student out-earning high school graduates, percentage of students who reduce debt and student-loan default rate.
Its Education Outcomes metric compared schools’ retention rates, graduation rates, and credentials awarded per undergrad enrollment.