Photo: cleocello on flickr
We’ve just published the top 20 universities in America, by the return on investment on education costs. We noticed a few interesting details, which may suggest something larger about American society.For the most part, bros win.
When looking at the top 20 schools, we noticed the obvious Ivy League and technical schools. The surprise was the prominence of what we’re labelling “bro schools.”
Bros, as a cultural phenomenon, are best defined by their interest in fraternity or fraternity style partying, love of sports, and desire to go to schools away from a large city to enhance the “college experience.”
(Feel free to argue, or add to, this definition in the comments.)
Many of them attend the universities that surprised on this list: Colgate, Amherst, Union, Lehigh, Duke, and Notre Dame.
Now, this list by payscale excludes individuals who receive post-graduate education. So doctors, lawyers, MBAs, and other graduate degrees are not involved in the ROI calculation.
This leads us to a second, and perhaps more dangerous conclusion: many bros go into finance.
We jump to this conclusion because in many finance careers, additional education is not needed because it is accomplished internally, through programs like CFAs, etc. The top undergraduate degrees at many of these schools are economics, accounting, and business, though that is true of many schools.
The fact that bros work in finance can be confirmed by frequenting the bars of Wall Street types around New York. Many of these men are adult bros.
The longer the list advances, the more this theory breaks down.
In the 20-30 range, bro schools include Bowdoin, Villanova, and Lafayette (?). Georgetown and Rice are also in this area, and are not “bro schools” per se, so show signs of breakdown.
In the 30-40 range, a similar decline in “bro school” prominence. The College of the Holy Cross and UVA, however, fit the bill.
In the 40-50 range, UVA (out of state), UCLA, USC, and Boston College make an appearance, and fit our theory.
Things we don’t notice in the top 50 (or 100, for that matter): “art schools,” or schools where students seek to work in more artistic careers. This makes sense, obviously as they make less money, but also leads to the exclusion of some big name city schools from the top 100, like New York University (102) and Boston University (111).
We welcome your disagreement, or any other “theories” you might propose.
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