The value of a St. Olaf education can be measured in many different ways — some tangible, some not.
Change is the one constancy in the world of today’s graduates. They will likely change jobs and even careers several times, as knowledge and technology continue to expand at an accelerating pace. The breadth of knowledge and experience that St. Olaf offers prepares students to be critical thinkers and learners who are able to adapt and prosper in a complex future. And the strong liberal arts education our students receive provides a path to financial independence, professional accomplishment, and personal fulfillment.
A comparative alumni research study commissioned by the Annapolis Group — a consortium of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, including St. Olaf — provides impressive evidence of that outcome.
St. Olaf graduates carry with them a mindset and toolkit of skills that are critical to future success:
- the ability to write clear prose
- quantitative reasoning
- knowing how to ask the right questions to solve problems
- working productively in groups
- learning in community with others
- functioning in a multicultural environment
- appreciating the arts.
As a result, St. Olaf graduates are in high demand among employers and graduate schools across the nation. A survey of the Class of 2011 one year after their graduation demonstrates the broad range of success our graduates experience.
These results stem from a rigorous academic program that focuses on engaging students in high-impact educational experiences, including hands-on undergraduate research, internships, volunteerism/civic engagement, study abroad, and learning communities such as the Conversations offerings — all of which are accompanied by close faculty-student interaction. An involved alumni network, as evidenced in the Career Connections initiative, also helps prepare students for life after St. Olaf.
The links in the left column of this page provide further detail on the success of our graduates and academic program, and the meaningful returns on investing in a St. Olaf education.
Listen to President David R. Anderson ’74 explain the importance of preparing students for the next phase of their lives and careers and the need for transparency in reporting on the value and outcomes of the education they received.
In The News
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 28, 2012, “A Look at How 2011 Grads from One Liberal Arts College Fared in the Job Market”
- The College Solution, June 19, 2012, “Sharing a College’s Return on Investment”
- Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2012, “Struggling to Launch”
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 30, 2012, “St. Olaf Uses Data to Argue its Worth”
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 20, 2012, “In Tough Times Liberal Arts Colleges Defend Their Value”