UC Santa Cruz is highly ranked among the nation's top computer science programs for "lifetime return on investment," according to a new analysis by Affordable Colleges Online. Graduates from these schools earn more on average than computer science graduates from other schools, enjoying the largest earning gaps in comparison with non-degree holders, according to AC Online.

UC Santa Cruz is ranked #5 on AC Online's list of the 20 "Best Colleges for Computer Science Majors." Other UC campuses on the list include UC Berkeley (#1), UC Santa Barbara (#7), UC Davis (#9), UC San Diego (#13), and UC Irvine (#14). The AC Online web site describes UCSC as a campus whose "relative youth hasn't held it back from greatness."

AC Online developed the following criteria for consideration as a "High ROI Computer Science program":

  • Total weighted cost (provided by IPEDS)
  • 30-year Net ROI (provided by PayScale.com)
  • 4-year degree-granting institution
  • Fully accredited institution
  • Must offer Computer Science at the undergraduate level
  • Private, for-profit institutions excluded

UCSC was also recognized for excellence in English & Humanities education. AC Online ranked the campus among the top 20 "Best Colleges for English & Humanities Majors" in the United States with the highest return on investment (ROI), noting that students who graduate from these programs earn more over their lifetimes, on average, than English & Humanities graduates from other institutions, after subtracting tuition and fees.

AC online added that many graduates of English and humanities disciplines use the foundations of research, data analysis, argumentation (written and verbal), and communication to springboard into a wide variety of professions, including law, business, journalism, and digital media, among others.

AC Online used the following criteria to select the nation’s top English & Humanities programs:

  •          Total weighted cost (provided by IPEDS)
  •           30-year Net ROI (provided by PayScale.com)
  •           4-year degree-granting institution
  •           Fully accredited institution
  •           Must offer English & Humanities at the undergraduate level
  •           Private, for-profit institutions excluded

Data sets used to assess schools based on these criteria were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and PayScale.com.