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Stanford University Return on Investment for a Degree

When Will You See a Return on Your Investment at Stanford ?

Review and compare your expected return on investment on your degree from Stanford University , below.

Why is a Return on Investment Important?

Understanding your expected return on investment on your degree from Stanford can help you decide if attending Stanford University is a smart financial decision.

Break Even In 2.1 Years at Stanford University

College is expensive and every year spent getting your degree is a year of lost wages and additional expenses. To determine when you will make up for the costs of college (your Return on Investment), we will look at the estimated cost of a degree and the average starting salary of graduates from Stanford University .

Average yearly cost$47,000
Average years to graduate4.3
Average starting salary$93,000
The average cost for a degree at Stanford University comes out to about $199,000 . If you make about $93,000 a year, it will take you 2.1 years following graduation to break even.

Additional Considerations

Major Specific Salary Information

Do you know what major you want to pursue at Stanford ? Calculate a major specific return on investment estimate here.

Catch a High School Graduate Within 5 Years of Graduating

To determine the year when you catch up, we need to factor in the average earnings of a high school graduate. To simplify things, we will assume that the high school graduate starts out earning their full average salary of $30,000 and lives at home for free, while you must pay for your living expenses during college. After college, we will assume that you both have the same expenses.

The earnings from an average graduate at Stanford University will surpass those of a high school graduate in 5 years.

For a more detailed and accurate look at early/mid-career earnings see the chart below.

This chart includes both starting and mid-career salaries for graduates from Stanford University . Data for high school earnings comes from the 2012 U.S. Census

Additional Considerations:

  • Want an extra $17,000 a year? According to the U.S. Department of Education. In 2012, the nationwide average salary for young adults with a bachelor's degree was about $47,000, while only $30,000 for those with a high school diploma.
  • Over 30 Years, a Degree at Stanford University is Worth $2,796,000

    Setting aside the time value of money, after 30 years, an undergraduate degree from Stanford University is worth about $2,796,000 more than what it would cost you.

    Your total earnings of $2,995,000 from your initial investment in tuition, fees and other expenses of about $199,000 gives you an annualized return of

    If instead of going to college, you put that initial investment into Treasury Bills for 30 years at 5% you would have about $860,078

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