(WBEN) Payscale.com has compared the costs of over 1,500 schools nationwide, with the expected earnings a graduate could make and determined that two Western New York schools - Hilbert College & Medaille Colleges - have a negative return on investment.
The website measured the worth of America's universities by comparing the cost of tuition with the median lifetime earnings a graduate might expect
It turns out that most schools are good investments -- though Payscale economist Katie Bardaro warns that students should consider individually whether college is worth it for their intended career
At around 3 percent of the schools, however, the return on investment over 30 years is negative, due to some combination of high tuition and low graduate pay.
Here are all the WNY
colleges on the list
with ranking & 30-year return on investment Source: payscale.com
253. Alfred U. $732,300
265. UB $724,500
305. UB (out of state) $690,100
516 College for Creative Studies
633. Daemen $514,500
661. SUNY Alfred $499,600
662. D'Youville $498,800
692. SUNY Alfred (out of state) $483,700
743. Canisius $459,000
1030. Niagara $330,700
1182. SUNY Fredonia $264,500
1226. St. Bonaventure $243,300
1248. SUNY Fredonia (out of state) $230,700
1316. Buffalo State $192,200
1343. Houghton College $171,800
1350. Buffalo State (out of state) $166,900
1481 -- cut off point where ROI goes negative
Medaille College's 2012 cost is listed at $139,700 with a 30-year net loss of $60,400 on investment
Hilbert College's cost in 2012 was listed as $116,000 with a 30-year net ROI loss of $89,100
The local colleges that scored best: Alfred University, ranked 253 with an 8 percent annual return on investment after financial aid and The University at Buffalo, ranked 265 with an annual 6.7 percent return ( including financial Aid) .
Payscale says the average Alfred graduate makes a starting salary of $44,500. A UB graduate can expect an annual starting salary of $43,200
Research and engineering schools provided the largest ROI, the survey said. With a $66,800 average starting salary for graduates, Payscale.com ranked private Harvey Mudd College in Claremont California as the school with the nation's best Return on Investment.