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Wofford again among Forbes' Top 50 ROI Colleges

Grateful Graduates Index measures private giving by alumni
 
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2014-04-15

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the second consecutive year, Wofford College is among the Top 50 ROI Colleges in the Top 100 Grateful Graduates Index released recently by Forbes on its website.

Wofford again is 46th on the Grateful Graduates Index listing of the top 100 four-year private, not-for-profit colleges and universities ranked by columnist Matt Schifrin, based primarily on the amount of private gifts they receive. This year – the second for the index – the formula for creating the index was adjusted to give a 20 percent weighting for alumni participation rates, or percentages of graduates who donate each year to their colleges.

Wofford’s Grateful Graduates “index score” is 66.1 with an average alumni participation rate of 24 percent. The 10-year median private donation per student is $11,216, according to the listing.

Each college and university listing also included one “notable grad.” Wofford’s is Jerry Richardson, class of 1959, founder and owner of the Carolina Panthers.

Wofford is the only South Carolina institution on the Top 50 ROI list, which also includes Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard and Johns Hopkins.

Last year’s list took into account only the median amount of private donations per student over a 10-year period. Schifrin says he made the adjustment after receiving comments from readers “who argued that measuring success, or ROI (return on investment), purely based on money, penalizes a lot of great colleges that have a high percentage of grateful alums who regularly give back to their schools but don’t earn the high incomes you might expect graduating from Stanford or MIT.

“It’s a fair point; there are plenty of people who attended smaller ‘humanities’ oriented liberal arts colleges like Middlebury or Haverford College, who donate smaller amounts because of income constraints, but feel the ‘ROI’ they got from their Alma mater is second to none,” he explains. “They excel in their careers and are happy, in the same way that a private equity banker or venture capitalist is.”

This year, using the weighting for alumni participation and data from the Center for Aid to Education, Schifrin calculated the average alumni participation rate by using the three best of the past four years. He automatically gave any school with an average alumni participation rate greater than 30 percent full credit in the ranking.

The full article and listing can be found at:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/schifrin/2014/03/27/the-50-top-roi-colleges-2014-the-grateful-grads-index/