When a college freshman student attends an incoming student orientation, a speaker will often tell them to look to their left and look to their right and then say that one the two students will not graduate. Whether or not that prediction or statistic is close to accurate, what is accurate is that making the transition from high school to college can be challenging as can staying the course for four to five years to reach that ultimate goal of graduating.
This is where student coaching can help as it can help students to successfully transition to the college system and life and then stay on track with what needs to be done. But if coaching can help improve the probability of success, what is the return of investment for the time and money that is spent in that area?
Hard dollar return
The first area of return to look at is the hard dollar return which is the return that can be tied to real identifiable dollars. In this case, we will look at the expenses that are spent while the student is in school. If that student spends time in college and does not graduate, the money spent can just about be considered thrown away as a few years toward a degree are not worth much without the factor of completion. Yes, that person could put the school on a resume without a degree and graduation date, but that is still not worth much when it comes to career development.
The average cost for a four-year public school was $7,030 per year in 2010. For this analysis, we will round up to $10,000 to account for living expenses. Multiply that times four and you get a $40,000 investment for a degree, which is probably a fairly conservative estimate.
By adding a component of student coaching, you can improve the probability of that expense does not go to waste by having it earn a degree. Thus, we can assume that there is a hard dollar return of $40,000 on average.
Soft dollar return
There is also a component of a soft dollar return which is tied to real dollars but is not as direct and measurable. These are from the fact that a college graduate is more likely to get paid more than a person without a degree at the same point in their career. For this analysis, we will use a figure of $20,000 difference per year with a degree vs. without.
If we take that figure and simply do a calculation out ten years, we get a soft dollar return on investment for student coaching of $200,000 and that does not attribute for promotions and salary increases. And what makes this concept even more powerful, is that the returns continue well beyond the ten year mark that we are using.
There is also an unquantifiable return which are the benefits that will come from being a college graduate that are not directly tied to money. These could be improved happiness, security, independence, intelligence, family, friends, etc. This is hard to measure, but definitely important to include when discussing the return of investment from student coaching.
Launch Pad Solutions provides student coaching helping students to stay on track and improve academic performance.
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