MSU ranks first in state in return on investment

Contact: Zack Plair

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State has been recognized as the state’s top higher learning institution for return on investment.

Seattle, Washington-based Payscale Inc. recently published its 2015 College ROI Report online, showing MSU graduates outpacing the state’s other colleges and universities with a median 20-year ROI of $281,300 for in-state students and $244,300 for those who attended from out-of-state. When financial aid is considered, those numbers jump to $311,000 and $274,000, respectively.

The 20-year ROI figure, according to the website, is the difference in the median pay of a bachelor’s degree graduate compared to 24 years of a high school graduate minus the 4-year cost of a college education. The report shows the total 4-year cost at $81,700 for in-state students and $118,700 for out-of-state students.

John Dickerson, MSU registrar and interim executive director of enrollment, said prospective students and their parents are increasingly exploring the potential financial return on their investment when choosing a college. Having a third-party like Payscale Inc. point out the value of an MSU degree, he added, provides outside validation on the experience afforded to Mississippi State students.

“It’s critical that we tell this story and ensure people are aware of the quality education Mississippi State provides and the value in the marketplace of the Mississippi State degree,” he said.

For the full report, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at