New University of Illinois President Michael Hogan recently said he was personally devastated when the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings dropped the U. of I. out of the Top 10 for public universities. The rankings vary from year to year, but the U. of I. had been pretty much a Top 10 regular over the past decade.
Hogan was probably feeling a lot better Monday morning when a Wall Street Journal survey of recruiting executives ranked the U. of I. at Urbana-Champaign No. 3 in the nation, including private universities, for placing its graduates in jobs.
The survey results come at a time when the economic value of a college degree is starting to get the same kind of microscopic examination as a specimen in a life-sciences lab.
A recent Washington Post article quoted some experts saying the higher lifetime earnings expected for college graduates may no longer cover the cost of the diploma.
The rule of thumb is that a college graduate earns a million extra dollars over a lifetime. But if you start out $200,000 in the hole from college costs plus four lost working years, you won't come close to making that back at historic interest rates.
But the sting won't be so sharp at the U. of I. if the Journal survey is to be believed. The survey also will help Hogan's effort to prevent the university from being perceived as slipping.
"I feel very strongly that the citizens of this state over five to six generations did what it took to make one of the world's great universities," he said
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