What is the ROI of your college degree?

College Finance » What Is The ROI Of Your College Degree?

Undergraduate tuition, possible graduate degrees, and room and board all add up -- especially for students taking out loans. But which degree and which jobs really pay off? See how long it would take students to pay off their student loans if they chose careers based off their degrees.

What is the ROI of your college degree?

OccupationMinimum required years in college, graduate school and professional programsCost of degree (tuition, fees, room, board)Median payAnnual repayment (if 10 percent of salary goes to repaying school loans)Years needed to repay education investment (assuming 6 percent student loan interest)
Advertising, marketing, promotions4$52,596$107,950$10,7955.83
Civil engineer4$52,596$79,340$7,9348.50
Political scientist6$68,010$102,000$10,2008.58
Physician: family or general practicioner8$136,861$172,020$17,20210.92
Market research analyst4$52,596$60,300$6,03012.42
Political science teacher: post-secondary6$68,010$72,170$7,21714.00
Public relations specialist4$52,596$54,170$5,41714.67
English language/literature teacher: post-secondary6$68,010$60,040$6,00419.08
Zoologist, wildlife biologist6$68,010$57,710$5,77120.58
Teacher (full-time)4$52,596$43,400$4,34021.75
News analyst, reporter, correspondent4$52,596$37,090$3,70931.83
Marriage and family therapist6$68,010$46,670$4,66734.67

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics,

View 8 high-paying, nontraditional degrees

We used the most recent education cost data from the National Center for Education Statistics and occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Costs for undergraduate degrees are based off the tuition, fees, and room and board of a four-year, in-state, public school with no scholarships. Graduate degree costs are based off of NCES data regarding tuition and fees for the specific area of study. Calculations were figured using an average loan interest payment of 6 percent. These numbers will vary based on the individual and are to be used solely as an informational tool.

If you would like more on how long it will take to pay off your student loan based on your salary, check out Bankrate’s student loan calculators.


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