Report Shows LSU’s Return on Investment Ranks #1 Among SEC Publics, High Among Peers

LSU is the top public university in the SEC and 13th in the country among high-research public universities in earnings–to-debt return 

LSU Commencement

“A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges" shows that LSU is #1 among SEC publics for earnings-to-debt and places LSU highly ranked among peers for return on investment metrics.

Photo: LSU Strategic Communications

BATON ROUGE – A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges,” shows that LSU is #1 in the SEC among public universities in one of the important return on investment categories highlighted by the study and is highly ranked among national peers.

“While we’re excited to be at the top of the SEC’s football standings, I’m even more proud to report that we also lead the conference in yet another ranking – the return on investment for students,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “According to this new study from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, LSU ranks #1 among SEC public institutions when comparing earnings versus average student debt. That means that our students and graduates enjoy one of the most financially advantageous educations in the nation.”

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce study, LSU is highly ranked in earnings-to-debt and net present value metrics:

  • When looking at earnings-to-debt return, which expresses how a student’s earnings 10 years after enrollment compares with median total debt, LSU is the top-ranked university among all public SEC schools.
  • When looking at earnings-to-debt return among public universities with a high research designation, LSU ranks 13th overall in the country, ahead of schools such as the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Georgia Tech, Purdue and the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • LSU’s net present value, or how much a sum of money in the future is valued today, for 10 years out from graduation places the university fourth among SEC public universities, ahead of the University of Alabama, Auburn University and the University of Tennessee, among others.
  • When looking more long term for net present value at 40 years out, LSU remains fourth among SEC public universities.

“An LSU education exposes students to world-class scholars and groundbreaking research, providing them with the tools they need to be competitive both nationally and internationally,” Alexander said. “Our graduates have written Academy Award winning scores, put men on the moon and landed rovers on Mars. Through our research and outreach, we seek to solve the most pressing problems in Louisiana and around the world. Simply put, no single entity has a bigger impact on the state than LSU.”

To calculate return on investment, Georgetown report uses expanded College Scorecard data to calculate the net present value and earnings-to-debt return, among other metrics, of a credential from 4,500 colleges, including traditional two-year and four-year public and private colleges, as well as for profit colleges and training academies. The center also developed an online table of the 4,500 colleges that allows users to sort data on tuition, median student debt, and median earnings for each institution.

“Everyone is asking, ‘Is college worth it?’ and we set out to try to find an answer,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author and CEW director. “Not only will it help students, but this kind of information on the costs and benefits of higher education holds institutions more accountable.”

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula, and career pathways. The center is affiliated with the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. For more information, visit

For the full report and sortable tables of 4,500 colleges and universities ranked by various ROI metrics, visit





Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations