Tools for Choosing a College


With the cost of college tuition seems to increase daily, it is natural for people to wonder if a four-year public-school education is worth the $100,000+ it could possibly cost. For a private university education, we can expect to pay even more. There are some online tools available that can help people make the correct choice for them.

Here is a quote from an NPR article that came out recently; “The site, can tell you a lot about a school – from its graduation rate and the earnings of former students, to how much debt you can expect to take on. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education updated the site, adding new data, details and restoring a few statistics that the Trump administration had scrapped.”

Using the tool above, I decided to compare four Oregon schools, Portland Community College, Oregon State University, Portland State, and The University of Oregon. Here’s what I found:

School Name


Graduation Rate

Typical Earning

Median Total Debt After Graduation

Portland Community College





Oregon State University





Portland State University





University of Oregon





What conclusions can you draw from this? The three universities- Oregon State, Portland State, and The University of Oregon end up very close to each other in average debt amounts after graduation with all three schools between $20,500 and $21,793.

As for earnings, we see Oregon State with $56,619, the UO with $53,472 and Portland State with $51,902.

Taken together, this information shows that the average Oregon State student will have a little less debt and slightly higher earnings than graduates from Portland State or the University of Oregon.

Can this make a difference as to which school you might choose? It could as it provides a great deal of relevant information on how schools stack up against one another. Obviously, it cannot replace visiting a campus, not to mention considering the other reasons we may choose a certain school over another.

Please let us know if you have any questions for us about school, school loans, or any other financial topic- we are here to help!

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