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NMU trails MTU in ROI

Fritz Erickson, president, Northern Michigan University

MARQUETTE — A Georgetown University analysis of federal data ranking 4,500 schools nationwide found startling differences in return on investment among campuses, Bridge magazine reported.

ROI for students who enrolled at Michigan Tech University, for example, showed an ROI over 40 years of $1.43 million, ranking it first among Michigan public universities. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was second in this category at $1.364 million and Michigan State University was third at $1.122 million, both over 40 years.

Ranking last at 15th was Northern Michigan University, which had an ROI over a 40-year timespan of $738,000, just below Lake Superior State University at $792,000.

The highest ROI among private universities was Kettering University in Flint, with a 40-year ROI of $1.662 million. Among community colleges, Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia led the list at an ROI of $769,000 over 40 years.

NMU officials responded to the analysis.

“We are just as proud of our top-notch truck driving certificate as we are our outstanding pre-med program,” said Fritz Erickson, NMU president, in an email. “If there is a need in our community or region, we will do it and according to the College ROI study, we will do so with the lowest student debt.”

NMU spokesperson Derek Hall said in an email: “NMU serves the two-year college function in our region. Twenty percent of our graduates attain certificates or associate degrees.

“NMU is proud of our role serving as the regional university in the Upper Peninsula. Rural educational opportunities are important to our area and the state. In addition to providing bachelor, master’s and a doctorate in nursing practice, NMU provides many students with certificates and associate degrees in technology and occupational programs.”

Bridge reported the analysis was based on federal College Scorecard data, which it said sheds “broadstroke light” on the financial payoff of college and the earnings differential among various schools.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.