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For students, Wingate’s return on investment among the best in North Carolina

by Chuck Gordon

There are many reasons to attend college: to pursue knowledge and mastery, to grow socially and emotionally, to explore different fields of study until you hit upon your destiny.

One of the most quantifiable reasons is to improve your financial prospects. In that regard, Wingate University stacks up well against North Carolina’s top colleges and universities.

Using research from two professors and an editor at Georgetown University, the data-journalism website Stacker.com compiled a list of the top 10 institutions of higher education in North Carolina based on return on investment. Institutions were ranked according to net present value (NPV) of earnings 40 years after entering college, with 10-year NPV used as a tiebreaker.

Wingate enters the rankings at No. 9, just ahead of UNC Wilmington and a hair behind Campbell University.

“These rankings validate what we’ve long known: that Wingate University offers solid long-term value for our students,” says Dr. Rhett Brown, Wingate University’s president. “Part of our mission is to help narrow the prosperity gap and help people climb the economic ladder. We know there is always room for improvement, but we’re proud to be on the list.”

The Georgetown researchers calculated Wingate’s 10-year NPV as $78,000, which takes into account the money spent on a Wingate education. The median debt for Wingate students, they say, is $14,475.

Over 40 years, Wingate students’ average NPV is calculated at $888,000.

The researchers’ findings also confirm the value of a private, four-year education. They say that, although students take out more in loans to attend private universities, their median earnings 10 years after first attending college are $8,000 greater than those of students with degrees from public universities. And the 40-year return is even better, with a net economic gain of $838,000, compared with $765,000 for public-university students.

Leading the way in North Carolina are Duke University, Wake Forest University, Davidson College and UNC Chapel Hill.

Nov. 23, 2021