USDOE has just posted a considerable trove of college data.

CAVEAT: These data are mostly for students who received federal financial aid.

- “Average Annual Cost”: The average annual net price for federal financial aid recipients, after aid from the school, state, or federal government. For public schools, this is only the average cost for in-state students.
- “Graduation Rate”: The graduation rate after six years for schools that award predominantly four-year degrees and after four years for all other schools. These rates are only for full-time students enrolled for the first time.
- “Salary After Attending”: The median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school.

My quick reading of the data does not disclose what fraction(s)of the student populations are represented here.

With that warning, here is a look at the Virginia public and not-for-profit colleges. First the graduation rates:

The winners there are UVa in red, W&L in yellow, and W&M in green.

Next, the median salary ten years out:

W&L, in yellow, is the big winner here.

Finally, a bang/buck calculation, ((Salary * Graduation Rate) / Average Cost):

Colors, as before, are UVa in red, W&L in yellow.

Here is the dataset, sorted by school name.

You might be interested in comparing these data with the results of the Brookings “value-added” study.