HPU ranked best in Hawai‘i for return on investment

March 28, 2014

HONOLULU — A new report from PayScale ranks Hawai‘i Pacific University as the top higher education institution in Hawai‘i for return on investment. In PayScale's recently released 2014 College Return on Investment (ROI) Report, HPU graduates had a 20-year ROI of $250,500, which is more than $65,000 above its closest in-state peer. Also from the new report, an average graduate from HPU earns $44,700 as a typical starting salary, the highest in the state.

“While starting salary and looking at net return on tuition is not the only way to capture the value of an HPU education, we are quite pleased that our students do so well in their careers," said HPU Provost Matthew Liao-Troth. "The value of our strong liberal arts foundation prepares our graduates to adapt to a changing global environment, and our major fields of study fit well in the evolution of the Pacific Rim as the geographic focus of the 21st century."

HPU Career Services Center Director Sharon Santiago also noted that career planning and successful placement are often related to the quality of a worker's education. HPU students can also connect with the university to help them make employment links during college and throughout their careers.

"Our Career Services Center continues to offer assistance to all HPU alumni," Santiago said. "We appreciate staying in touch with our successful graduates, and would also love for them to come back to offer internship or career opportunities for our current students and alumni. As seen in the PayScale report, our graduates have the potential for good paying jobs."

As critical decisions about college are now being being made by students and families, how a university supports career opportunities for its students and potential ROI can be a factors to consider when weighing their choices.

“During a time of both spiraling student debt and tuition rising faster than inflation, post-graduate earnings are a necessary piece of the college decision-making process,” said Katie Bardaro, PayScale lead economist. “Although post-graduate earnings shouldn't be the only consideration when choosing a school, they should certainly play a part, especially when making choices about how much to borrow to fund your education. Students need to know whether they’ll be able to pay off their loans effectively in the context of their chosen field.”

Hawai‘i Pacific University also ranks first among Hawai‘i private colleges and universities in “lifetime return on investment,” according to (ACO), an organization dedicated to measuring value in higher education. HPU’s ROI of $414,000 was more than $100,000 ahead of the closest in-state, private university peer. In U.S. News and World Report’s recent review of colleges, “Best Colleges 2014,” Hawai`i Pacific University is ranked among the top Regional Universities in the West.

HPU has a rolling admissions process, which means it is not too late for prospective students to apply for the fall semester at HPU offers more than 50 undergraduate and 14 graduate degree programs in the areas of business administration, communication, liberal arts, and science, including several pre-professional programs, as well as Engineering through dual degree programs with the University of Southern California and Washington University. HPU’s leading Hawai‘i alumni include U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawai‘i Pacific Health President/CEO Ray Vara and Pacxa President/CEO Gordon Bruce.

PayScale is the creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world and surveyed alumni from more than 900 colleges and universities for its report. For more information on methodology see See the Hawai‘i list at