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Excelsior College Ranked #1 and #3 by Online U as Best College Return on Investment



Excelsior College was recently recognized by OnlineU in its 2021 Best Online Colleges for Return on Investment rankings, featured as No. 1 for best online associate degrees and No. 3 for best online bachelor’s degrees. Since 2004, OnlineU has been helping students accomplish their educational goals by identifying the online degree program with the best value.

OnlineU’s new 2021 Best Colleges for Return on Investment rankings are the first to be based on the median salary and mean debt numbers found in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. To determine mid-career ROI, schools were ranked by graduates’ salaries and debt payments for 10 years after graduation, accounting for standard salary growth and interest on debt payments. This formula gives each school a percentile “ROI score” that reflects how the salary and debt of each school’s programs compare to similar ones. The ranking lists also include manually researched tuition rates for each school.

David Schejbal, president of Excelsior College, stated, “We are honored to be recognized by OnlineU for best college return on investment. This ranking is significant for Excelsior College, our students, and our graduates as we strive for a strong return on investment and low student debt. Many of our students balance full-time work and personal responsibilities while pursuing a degree, and we recognize the sacrifices and investments they make.”

Excelsior helps students save money and time on their education by accepting previously earned college credit and awarding credit for military training, workplace training, and certain professional certifications. Of the students enrolling in the 2019–2020 academic year, 93.5 percent transferred in college credits prior to enrollment or within three weeks after enrolling. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree transferred in an average of 69.37 credits, which amounts to more than half the number of degree credits required for a bachelor’s degree.

best online college ROI badge Optimal, the producer of the rankings, helps prospective students make informed, data-driven decisions to improve their collegiate experience and their post-college careers. OnlineU is one of its major products to navigate through the remote education landscape. “The pandemic has significantly accelerated the growth of online learning and delivered us into a territory where there is not a lot of qualitative or quantitative information yet,” said Optimal founder and CEO Sung Rhee. “As student debt continues to rise exponentially and finances are strained as a result of COVID-19, many people are asking themselves, ‘Is an education worth it right now?’”

To better address student needs, Optimal’s rankings for best online colleges for ROI and thought-leadership articles provide students with the data, information, and insights needed to make the best possible decisions for their circumstances. By showing the salary and debt that can be expected 10 years after graduation, the rankings can help prospective students make their college selection.

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