Mesa, Arizona ~ Benedictine University offers a private, values-based Catholic education that makes a difference for students and alumni from all walks of life and income levels, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.
The data reveals significant increases in graduation and retention rates with 53 percent of first-time, full-time undergraduate students earning their bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University in six years – up from 49 percent last year and surpassing the 44 percent national mark. The percentage of first-generation college students who started at Benedictine and graduated in six years was 57 percent.
And while 67 percent of undergraduate students across the country returned for a second fall semester at the same college, 73 percent chose to remain at Benedictine for the following fall term.
The University is keeping the amount of money parents and students borrow to fund their education to a minimum. Families on average borrowed $21,500 in federal loans for a student’s undergraduate study at Benedictine – far below the $35,000 national average. The loans cover books, tuition, fees, meals and other college expenses.
The average net price (after grants and scholarships subtracted from tuition) for undergraduate students overall on all Benedictine campuses is $19,778 per year ($16,507 per year for families with a combined salary of 48,000 or less). Tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year at Benedictine University at Mesa are $20,800.
While it is still a sizeable investment to make, students who leave Benedictine have done so on good financial terms with strong career prospects.
According to the University’s 2013 Post-Graduate Survey, 93 percent of Benedictine graduates were either employed or in graduate school within 12 months of graduation. The median salary for students who first attended Benedictine six years ago was $40,500 – a figure which 10 years after the first year of attendance climbed to $51,000. The average earnings nationally for students 10 years after entering college was $34,343.
Few Benedictine students who do leave with some college debt have problems paying back their loans. According to the scorecard, just 4.4 percent of Benedictine University students defaulted on their federal student loans within three years of entering a repayment program, compared to 11.8 percent nationwide. This statistic continues a steady downward trend after Benedictine reported a 7.4 percent three-year default rate in 2013 compared to the national figure of 13.4 percent.
The College Scorecard provides students and families with the critical information they need to make smart decisions about where to enroll for higher education. It highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, is priced affordably and is consistent with their educational and career goals.
To access the full scorecard or for more information, visit https://collegescorecard.ed.gov.
Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No.2 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2003-2013 in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America’s Top Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2015.