November 15, 2019

Food for Thought

What is the return on investment for a four-year degree? What about a two-year degree? Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce released a new report and interactive dashboard looking at the net present value (NPV) of some 4,500 colleges, both two- and four-year as well as public and private. The dashboard shows net present value at 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 years along with several other metrics. Check out your college here.

Their findings confirm that college is in fact a good investment:

  • They find that two-year degrees are a better short-term investment (they have a higher 10-year NPV), but four-year degrees are a better long-term investment (they have a higher 40-year NPV).
  • They also find that private nonprofit colleges have a slightly higher 40-year NPV than public colleges.

In North Carolina, Duke University has the highest 40-year NPV at $1,754,000 with Wake Forest University coming in second at $1,282,000. UNC Chapel Hill ranks fourth with a 40-year NPV of $1,185,000. Wake Technical Community College has the highest 40-year NPV for public community colleges at $726,000 and ranks ahead of UNC Asheville and UNC Pembroke.

For Your Consideration

Youth e-cigarette use continues to rise despite increased attention on the dangers of e-cigarettes and regulation of e-cigarette companies over the past year. Data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that over 5 million youth reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Of high school students surveyed, 27.5% reported using e-cigarettes in the past month while 10.5% of middle school students reported monthly use.


Juul continues to be the preferred e-cigarette brand for youth, with 59% of high school e-cigarette users reporting Juul as their usual brand. Youth e-cigarette users also continue to use flavored brands. Many more reported using mint or menthol flavors in 2019 than in the past years, perhaps reflecting the regulation of fruit flavors.

Need to Know

Next week is Resilience Week, an engagement campaign in partnership with UNC-TV, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and KPJR Films. As part of Resilience Week, UNC-TV will broadcast the award-winning film Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope, on November 19 at 8 p.m. followed by a Twitter town hall. For details, check out

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