Two prominent ranking agencies recently placed Michigan State University among the country’s top institutions for affordability, graduation rate, and alumni career earnings.
On Money’s “Best Colleges” ranking, MSU ranks in the top 7% of all colleges and universities in the nation listed in the new 2020 ranking, which considered nearly all four-year institutions in the United States and ranked 739 schools based on three major categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni success. MSU is No. 35 on Money’s ranking of all public institutions in the country. The university surpassed eight fellow Big Ten schools as well as two Ivy League colleges and prestigious liberal arts institutions.
On the Washington Monthly “2020 College Guide,” MSU ranks No. 11 in the Midwest in the “Bang for the Buck” category. Washington Monthly ranked schools according to how well they help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.
For many students, the payoff for a college degree comes once a student successfully graduates and has secured employment. With that in mind, MSU's graduation rate of 81% is 8% higher than would be expected for students with similar test scores and economic backgrounds, says Money.
According to the university’s latest destination survey report, 93% of MSU graduates land jobs or go on to advanced degrees right out of college, with more than 30% earning $60,000 or more in their first job. Outside of the classroom, 77% of MSU students obtain internships, nearly 40% study abroad, and nearly 60% participate in service learning or volunteer opportunities.
Beyond MSU’s reputation for job placement and employment, the university meets the financial aid need for more than 70% of students who apply for it. On average, nearly three-quarters of MSU students who need financial aid receive it, and the average merit grant is just shy of $10,000.
Money also notes MSU’s reputation as a research institution and its diverse student life experience as contributing factors for its position on “Best Colleges,” specifically mentioning the university’s 900 student organizations and 275 education abroad programs.