JMU offers winning combination

by Janet Smith


James Madison University is recognized in two recently released online guides that spotlight schools that provide high-quality education at an affordable price.

JMU ranks 22nd on a list of 50 U.S. colleges and universities that combine tuition affordability and high return on investment.

The 2013 rankings of the Most Affordable Colleges with a High Return on Investment, compiled by, is the result of reviews of 875 public and private four-year schools with total four-year tuition of less than $40,000. To be eligible for consideration, each institution was required to be fully accredited and non-profit.

JMU’s four-year tuition is $18,568 and its 30-year net ROI is $360,500, as calculated by AffordableCollegesOnline.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and Carnegie Classification, all national entities for data collection and analysis related to higher education, were studied. Then AffordableCollegesOnline calculated the return on investment by subtracting the cost, or investment, in college from the return of incremental salary expected from earning the degree at a specific college. The online resource determined which institutions’ 30-year net ROI were highest, using data from, a salary data collection organization.

Virginia colleges fared well in the 50-school ranking with the University of Virginia (3), Virginia Tech (5), College of William and Mary (6), George Mason University (24) and University of Mary Washington (44) on the list.

The College Database, a free website for providing students and their families with college- and career-related information, also used NCES, IPEDS and Carnegie Classification data to compile its unranked list of schools providing high-quality education at an affordable price.

Schools on the College Database’s list have annual tuition rates below $20,000, and new graduates who earn more than $40,000 per year, on average. “JMU students enter the workforce earning an estimated $44,900 per year after graduation, ranking it among the most financially effective of all Virginia post-secondary schools,” according to the College Database.

AffordableCollegesOnline is available at and The College Database is available at

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 May 24, 2013

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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