The script A of The University of Alabama is on top of a mortar board at graduation.

UA Education Proves to be Solid Investment

A degree from The University of Alabama has proven to provide an abundant return on investment for graduates, setting the stage for legendary careers while also creating priceless experiences and memories.

In the latest economic impact report from the UA Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA Culverhouse College of Business, data shows that despite the costs of a college education such as tuition, room and board, and books, investing in an education at UA yields better long-term annual rates of return than most stocks, stock indexes and bonds.

UA’s 2020-2021 graduating class with a bachelor’s degree will have an average starting salary that is around $20,000 more than the starting salary of those with a high school diploma. Bachelor’s degree holders will make around $16,000 more than those with some college education. The average starting salary increases for those with master’s and doctorate degrees.

A graph showing the average starting salary of a high school diploma, some college and degrees from Alabama

When looking at lifetime earnings, those with a bachelor’s degree in UA’s class of 2020-2021 will make around $2.3 million more than those with a high school diploma, and $1.7 million more than those with some college education. Like the average starting salary, advanced degree holders will earn more over their lifetime.

A graph showing the lifetime earnings of a high school diploma, some college and degrees from Alabama

The positive real annual rates of return and their magnitude indicate that investing in a UA degree is worthwhile and prudent. The doctoral degree earns the most even over the shortest working life. The real investment returns are better than long-term real annual rates of return on most U.S. equities and bonds.

The UA education has several unquantifiable benefits. The University produces skilled and knowledgeable graduates; provides valuable research, adding to the stock of knowledge; provides numerous outreach services to businesses, state agencies and local communities; enhances graduates’ ability to learn and grow intellectually and to contribute in various ways to society; facilitates economic development; and provides other valuable service to the state, nation and world.