Detroit Mercy ranks among top 15% of U.S. universities for career earnings

January 22, 2020

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) November 2019 report A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges shows that 40 years after enrollment, bachelor’s degrees from private colleges have the highest returns on investment. Most importantly, Detroit Mercy is among the top U.S. universities for return on investment.

“Everyone is asking, ‘Is college worth it?’ and we set out to try to find an answer,” said Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author and CEW director. “Not only will it help students, but this kind of information on the costs and benefits of higher education holds institutions more accountable.”

Detroit Mercy ranks in the top 15% of universities in the U.S. for career-long earnings, according to a new report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The institution ranks No. 598 out of 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide for salary earned over the length of a career. For the state of Michigan, Detroit Mercy ranks among the top 5 four-year, private universities.   

The report also found that by the end of their careers, Detroit Mercy graduates could expect to earn an additional $1 million in today’s dollars than if they had not gone to college. These results show that a college education is a wise investment for a young person preparing for a prosperous future. Not only do college graduates earn significantly more over their lifetimes than those who do not complete college degrees, a Detroit Mercy education prepares its graduates for engaged lives and ethical leadership as citizens, which benefits us all.

Some of the other findings from this study include the following:

  • At institutions that primarily award bachelor’s degrees, the long-term net, economic gains are $838,000 at private nonprofit colleges compared to $765,000 at public colleges. 
  • For Detroit Mercy that figure is $989,000. 
  • Graduates of private nonprofit institutions have a sizable edge in earnings 10 years after enrollment, a median of $41,000 for students who went to private colleges vs. $33,000 for students who attended public institutions. 
  • Even though the median debt levels at public institutions ($7,000) are less than half of those a private nonprofit institutions ($17,000), the higher earnings for students who attended private colleges are sufficient to drive the long-term gain in favor of private nonprofit institutions.

For the full report and sortable tables of 4,500 colleges and universities ranked by various ROI metrics, visit

About the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW)

The CEW is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula, and career pathways. CEW is affiliated with the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. For more information, visit or follow on social media.