While Kenyon College graduates may end up making more money in their first five years than graduates from Ohio Wesleyan University, OWU alumnis won’t have to pay as much for their degrees.
According to a recent article published by Money Magazine, Kenyon graduates will earn an average of $44,400 within their first five years in the workforce. Graduates from OWU, within five years of entering the workforce, will earn an average of $38,900.
Susan Dileno, vice president for enrollment at OWU, said it’s all about how you compare the demographics of a student body.
“When you look at students who go to Harvard, you’re typically going to find more wealthier students,” Dileno said. “OWU, Denison, Wooster and Kenyon all attract similar types of students. It’s all about comparing schools with similar student bodies.”
Dileno said Money Magazine based their decision off three factors: graduation rate, percentage of graduates who are employed and affordability.
Despite the $41,920 “sticker price,” as Dileno put it, 97 percent of students currently receive financial aid to help pay for OWU. This was another factor which Money Magazine included in making their decision.
According to Money Magazine, the net cost of an Ohio Wesleyan degree is $143,848. However, it will only cost 3 percent of OWU students that amount to attain their degree; the rest of the student body receives financial aid.
At Kenyon College, however, the net cost of a degree is almost $50,000 more than a degree from OWU. And at Kenyon, only 50 percent of students receive financial aid.
Another factor which Money Magazine used in making their decision was the percentage of OWU alumni who are currently employed.
Rock Jones, president of OWU, said 97 percent of the class of 2014 reported to being employed or pursuing graduate degrees.
The final aspect Money Magazine took into consideration was the average mid-career income for OWU graduates.
Jones said the company PayScale, Inc. collected data which showed average mid-career salaries for alumni.
How to improve our ranking
The Transcript asked university administrators what they were doing to improve the school’s ranking.
Cole Hatcher, director of communications and media relations, said the primary thing the university can do to improve its ranking is to increase student scholarship funds.
Not only does this make OWU more appealing to prospective students, but it would increase the number of students who might not otherwise be able to attend OWU.
“Until they get like bigger endowments or more students who can pay the full freight, it’s going to continue to get harder,” Dileno said.