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MENU Names UC San Diego a Top Return on Investment (ROI) College for Alumni

According to, an online provider of compensation calculations, the 30-year net ROI for alumni is $647,100 and the annual ROI is 10.8 percent. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

A recent college salary report by ranked the University of California, San Diego the fourth best public university for its return on investment (ROI) for alumni who are California residents.

Data was collected from more than 850 U.S. colleges (for both in- and out-of-state tuition when applicable) to rank college tuition ROI––what students pay to attend versus what they get back in lifetime earnings.

According to, an online provider of compensation calculations, the 30-year net gain in income by a UC San Diego graduate versus a high school graduate is $647,100. The annual gain in income or ROI is 10.8 percent. In addition, the website notes that the average starting salary of UC San Diego alumni is $48,400 and they have a mid-career income potential of $96,700.    

UC San Diego also earned high marks for the amount of financial aid the university awards its students.  Nearly two-thirds of UC San Diego’s undergraduates receive need-based financial aid and more than 45 percent receive the Federal Pell Grant for low-income students.          

“UC San Diego continues to be an academic powerhouse that is accessible and affordable to students,” said Ann Klein, director of UC San Diego’s financial aid office. “The campus is committed to providing strong financial aid programs to ensure there is opportunity for all students to thrive at UC San Diego.”         

In 2012, UC San Diego was named a best value public college by both Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and The Princeton Review. In addition, the university has consistently been ranked among the nation’s top 10 public colleges by U.S. News and World Report and for the past three years, Washington Monthly has named UC San Diego the nation’s number one university in the magazine’s annual college guide.

For more information on the 2012 ROI Rankings: College Education Value Compared, go to

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