The Economist names Alderson Broaddus University No. 8 in the country for adding value
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University has been ranked eighth in the nation for adding value to a student’s degree by The Economist, the prestigious international newspaper which has a global emphasis and scope.
This is the first-ever college ranking for the newspaper which took a different approach than most publications; it looked at over 1,200 institutions across the country that do the most to boost graduates’ salaries, representing the economic value added by each school. As stated, the rankings are “for students who want to know which colleges are likely to boost their future salaries by the greatest amount, given their qualifications and preferences regarding career and location.”
The article also stated that instead of publishing rankings based on influencing where students should attend, they sought to review and publish rankings based on how much universities help their students, focusing exclusively on economic value. The Economist defines economic value as the gap between how much money its graduates earn and how much they might have made had they studied elsewhere.
Alderson Broaddus University, a rural, small, private college in North Central West Virginia that is affiliated with the American Baptist Church, was ranked No. 8 in the nation, beating out all local competitors as well as Ivy League schools such as Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University to name a few and other notable schools such as Bucknell University and Stanford University. This is because the difference between what graduates were expected to earn and what they really earned – the “value added” – was greater than more than 1,000 colleges in the country. ABU was the only West Virginia school named in the top 50, let alone the top 10.
“This is a remarkable testament to not only the strong liberal arts education a student receives while attending ABU, but also affirms the high quality a degree from Alderson Broaddus holds in the workforce,” said President Dr. Richard Creehan. “This is just another confirmation that the nation, and now the world, is taking notice of the great things that have been taking place on our mountaintop the past few years. Our alumni are becoming successful in their chosen fields and should be proud of the foundation their alma mater has provided them.”
The ranking system used characteristics to create a statistical model of what a school’s expected earnings for its students “should” be in the workforce upon graduation.
ABU’s “expected earnings,” based on The Economist’s model, were supposed to be $31,766. The actual median income of graduates was $ 43,400. This means Alderson Broaddus added a bonus of more than $ 11,634 to its graduates’ salaries. To determine this difference, The Economist pulled data from the Department of Education’s “scorecard” website. They found that certain factors correlate with high earnings, like SAT scores. The Economist created a model to combine all of these factors and determine what alumni should theoretically make after graduating from a specific university.
The Princeton Review recently published the Top 10 College Majors, compiling this list “based on research covering job prospects, alumni salaries, and popularity.” The article can be found at www.princetonreview.com. Of the 10 majors that made the list, Alderson Broaddus offers seven including: biology, business, computer science, communication, nursing, political science, and psychology.
“Historically, Alderson Broaddus University has been known for its strength in the health science related fields and currently, the number one major on campus is biology,” said President Creehan. “Most of these students work in our pre-professional programs and go on to medical school, dental school, veterinarian school, or optometry school. Others, who major in biology, work in research, become an ecologist or environmentalist, or find themselves in one of the many growing fields such as genetics and biotechnology.”
According to data from the University’s Office of the Registrar, other popular majors at ABU mentioned in the Princeton Review ranking include business which lands in the number two spot; third is nursing; psychology is in seventh; and computer science is one of the fastest growing majors.
“We are excited for the new initiatives we have in the works that satisfies the need of today’s students and meets the demand of today’s workforce,” said President Creehan. “We are in the development stages for new master degree programs, one in anatomy and the other in education. For the past few years we have set the groundwork in establishing the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and have received stage one accreditation for a doctoral optometry program and are currently applying for stage two.”
Creehan states that by offering a major that will be desirable for students, knowing that after graduation, they will work in a field of their interest, in high paying jobs, graduates will also become valuable members of their community.
“The information reported from places like the U.S. Department of Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as our own campus statistics, cannot be ignored,” said Creehan. “Alderson Broaddus must continue to be competitive in the academic programs that we offer; and colleges and universities today must be sensitive to the demand of twenty-first century, market-driven programs. With that in mind, for the past three years, the faculty at ABU have been hard at work making significant revisions to academic programs and innovating new initiatives.”
To view the complete list of rankings by The Economist, please click here.