Q&A - May 5, 2017

OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee creates value in many ways. The university plays a key role in helping students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. It provides students with the skills they need to have a fulfilling and prosperous career. Further, it supplies an environment for students to meet new people, increase their self-confidence, and promote their overall health and well-being.

In response to this week’s question, I would like to acknowledge the investment our students make in their own education and spell out the benefits they receive in return.

Q: What is the return on investment for a student who attends OSUIT?

Most people don’t think of attending college as making an investment, but it is actually one of the most important investments any young person can make. It’s an investment in themselves and in their own future. With more training and education comes higher earning potential. For example, the average associate degree completer from OSUIT will see an increase in earnings of $8,300 each year compared to someone with only a high school diploma.

What would you think if you gave me a dollar, and I gave you back $3 in return? You would probably think that was a pretty good deal, right? And what if I gave you $3 every time you gave me a dollar? That would be unbelievable! Well, that is exactly the return on investment students receive from their education at OSUIT. A recent study of the investment effectiveness and economic impact of OSUIT revealed that the average student at OSUIT can expect a 3 to 1 return on their investment in their education.

Calculating student investment is not difficult. In order to attend OSUIT, students pay for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. This is an investment that can easily be measured. But remember, students also make a sacrifice when they give up money that they would have otherwise earned had they been working instead of attending college. These foregone wages are also part of their total investment. Using these factors, it has been estimated that the total investment of the present class of OSUIT students is approximately $50 million.

In return for their investment, these OSUIT students will receive a stream of higher future earnings that will continue to grow throughout their working lives. The present value of this revenue over the course of their careers is estimated to be $150 million. Dividing this value by the $50 million in student costs yields a benefit-cost ratio of 3.0. In other words, for every dollar students invest in OSUIT in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they receive a cumulative of $3 in higher future earnings. This means the average annual rate of return for OSUIT students is 12.8%., and compared to the 10-year average return of 7.2% from the U.S. stock market, that is an impressive return.

OSUIT is a smart investment for students!

If you would like to share your comments or ask a question about OSUIT, please direct them to osuit-president@okstate.edu.