In FY2018-19, UCA served 12,741 credit and 1,358 non-credit students. In order to attend the university, the students paid for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. They also took out loans and will incur interest on those loans. Additionally, students gave up money they would have otherwise earned had they been working instead of attending college. The total investment made by UCA’s students in FY 2018-19 amounted to a present value of $155.7 million, equal to $64.2 million in out-of-pocket expenses (including future principal and interest on student loans) and $91.5 million in forgone time and money.
In return for their investment, UCA’s students will receive a stream of higher future earnings that will continue to grow throughout their working lives. For example, the average UCA bachelor’s degree graduate from FY 2018-19 will see annual earnings that are $31,100 higher than a person with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Arkansas.* Over a working lifetime, the benefits of the bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma will amount to an undiscounted value of $1.4 million in higher earnings per graduate. The present value of the cumulative higher future earnings that UCA’s FY 2018-19 students will receive over their working careers is $807.3 million.
The students’ benefit-cost ratio is 5.2. In other words, for every dollar students invest in UCA, in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they will receive a cumulative value of $5.20 in higher future earnings. Annually, the students’ investment in UCA has an average annual internal rate of return of 19.1%, which is impressive compared to the U.S. stock market’s 30-year average rate of return of 9.9%.
* Earnings data was calculated using complete Emsi earnings data supported by UCA Alumni Outcomes data.