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UW Ranks No. 3 in Nation on Best-Value College List

February 2, 2018

University of Wyoming graduates’ low student debt and placement in relatively high-paying jobs have landed UW at No. 3 on a list of best-value universities in the nation.

Growella, a consumer website that offers finance, career and life advice, ranks UW behind only Fresno State University and Georgia Tech University based on how long it takes UW graduates to pay off student loans.

Other schools in the top 10 include Iowa State University, Harvard University, Utah State University and Princeton University. The rankings may be found at

“Your income matters to your student loans because the more money that you earn, the smaller the percentage of your paycheck that’ll go toward your loans,” the website says. “Spending less on your student loans each month leaves more money left over for things like going on vacation, putting money into retirement and buying a new car.”

In the 2015-16 academic year, the last for which numbers are available, just 45 percent of UW students graduated with student loan debt -- and, for those who did, it was $5,242 less than the national average.

In addition to looking at student loan numbers, Growella examined how much financial aid universities give to their students and the starting salaries of graduates. Using that information, the website calculated an average “student loan payment-to-salary” ratio. UW’s ratio of 20.17 percent was smaller than only Fresno State (20.01 percent) and Georgia Tech (20.02 percent).

“Until you apply for jobs as a junior or senior in school, you can’t know how much you’ll earn at that first job,” the website says. “However, when you go to a school that invests in its students and their future, you give yourself an advantage over your peers.”

The Growella ranking follows last year’s ranking of UW as No. 1 on Student Loan Hero’s list of “20 States Where College Is Worth the Cost.” The website compared the cost of bachelor’s degrees in each state to how much holders of four-year degrees earn in those states, concluding that Wyoming’s return on investment is tops in the nation.

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