WLUPOSTED:  Aug. 28, 2012 – West Liberty University scored well in a recent ranking, “What’s Your College Degree Worth?” published by Bloomberg Businessweek. The study ranks colleges for return on investment (ROI) and is based on salary information of graduates versus cost of degrees.

“Despite the current economic hardships faced by parents and students, West Liberty remains a real value in the world of higher education,” said President Robin C. Capehart, who has led the University since 2007. “This is a result of hard work by our board of governors, faculty, staff and so many more. We expect our campus to focus on student success and this study reveals that it’s working. ”

West Liberty scored the highest ROI among regional colleges and universities in West Virginia and second overall behind WVU. For students and their parents, ROI is important when considering a college since it measures the future earning power of graduates.

“The value of a WLU education is a no brainer, West Lib allowed me to graduate with no debt! I started my business at ground zero instead of in the red. I have been able to focus on my art and not had to worry about digging my way out of debt,” said recent WLU graduate Jesse Lenz ’10.

Lenz is an artist and illustrator and has done very well since he earned his degree at WLU. Most recently he designed the cover of Entertainment Weekly, Aug. 1, 2012. Other big names he has worked for include: Time Magazine, Newsweek, New York Times, WIRED and GQ.

“WLU offers a positive return on the cost of higher education that is noticed immediately after graduation, with fewer student loans and college incurred debt,” Capehart said.  “A WLU degree is only increasing in value in today’s marketplace as higher education becomes increasingly market-oriented and we continue our transition from a good college to a great university.”

WLU’s enrollment remains strong and has seen a steady increase in numbers for seven consecutive years. Additionally, the University added a master’s degree program this past summer, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, ranked as the number one degree for jobs by Forbes Magazine in June 2012. The University is also constructing a new home for the sciences, the Campbell Hall of Health Sciences, schedule for opening in December 2013.

“PayScale, which collects pay information from individuals using its online pay comparison tools, dug into its trove of 1.4 million reports on U.S. college graduates for Bloomberg Businessweek and put a price tag on the college diplomas handed out at graduation ceremonies,” according to the Bloomberg website explaining its ROI study. “With the typical college degree from the schools in this report, a graduate will earn about $1.95 million over a 30-year career, netting about $670,000 more than a high-school graduate.”

West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university steeped in a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education.  Established as West Liberty Academy in 1837, it was created to respond to the need for higher educational opportunities west of the Appalachians.

Led by President Robin C. Capehart, West Liberty is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please visit www.westliberty.edu or call 1.866.WESTLIB.