Introduction: What is the St. Andrews Experience?
As St. Andrews alumni welcome the class of 2023 into our tribe, now is a good time to give St. Andrews its own report card. The following review scrutinizes the most recent public data distributed by the Department of Education to create a performance report.
None of the data below describes the individual decisions hundreds of students and families make every year when choosing St. Andrews. Just like when we were entering college, the students who will arrive on campus this fall have chosen St. Andrews because it is a good fit for them as individuals. Furthermore, means and medians do not describe the experiences of St. Andrews students after they leave to enter the workforce or other schools. The true story of that involves the constellation of individual accounts of success and struggle, patience and frustration, love and life.
Keeping all that in mind, one can still fairly compare alumni and other charitable supporters of St. Andrews to investors. As investors, alumni want to know that their contributions go to support a program that is on average responsible, beneficial, and in keeping with what they valued from their time at St. Andrews. To this end, St. Andrews Alumni Council offers the following report card.
Data Summary: On-Time Graduation, Earnings After Enrollment, and Low Debt
Does St. Andrews exercise due diligence in selecting the students who will have a college opportunity? Does St. Andrews then offer students a quality education? Finally, does St. Andrews do so in a way that produces economic value?
Key performance indicators provide objective, whole-group data that helps answer these questions. Graduation rates show that students selected to enter have a chance – but not a guarantee – of attaining a degree. Earnings after college display one way that a quality education can be measured, but definitely not the only or even the most important way. Comparing those earnings to average debt demonstrates if a college is providing education at a competitive price versus burdening a student with unmanageable debt.
St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC operates proudly as a branch of Webber International University. This report card uses the most-recent, institution-level data from the Department of Education, last updated April 25, 2023. The following figures compare St. Andrews with other Southeastern colleges in the same Carnegie classification. More specifically, that system categorizes St. Andrews as a “primarily baccalaureate college with diverse degrees.” After this summary, you will find more detailed data for each outcome category, general descriptive data about St. Andrews, as well as a more detailed description of the comparison cohort.
Compared to Other Southeastern Baccalaureate Colleges with Diverse Degrees:
First-time, full-time students enrolling at St. Andrews prove 19% more likely to graduate on time.
Part-time students at St. Andrews earn degrees at more than four times the average rate.
Full-time, not first-time students at St. Andrews prove 20% more likely to graduate.
St. Andrews students demonstrate normal rates of loan repayment at one-year, 3-years, 5-years, and 7-years.
Students enrolled at the university as a whole leave college with 36% lower debt.
These students average 8% better annual earnings six years after entry and 15% higher annual earnings eight years after entry.
These metrics create an earnings-to-debt ratio that is 60% to 70% better. This gives our university one of the top 3 earning- to-debt ratios among the 96 Southeastern, 4-year colleges with diverse degrees.
Higher graduation rates and category-leading earnings-to-debt ratios underscore what our good faculty and staff have been saying for years. There is magic in this place and value to be shared. It’s a good day to be a Knight. Will you help the students arriving this September the way alumni helped us in our years? Here’s how: https://www.sa.edu/about/alumni/give/
St. Andrews Leads in Graduation Rates
Comparison group: Colleges of the same type in the same region. Colleges offering primarily bachelor’s degrees, in diverse fields, in the Southeast.
Graduation Rates for First-Time, Full-Time Students
SAU: 31% Avg: 26%
150% of Time
SAU: 31% Avg: 37%
200% of Time
SAU: 39% Avg: 36%
St. Andrews students prove somewhat more likely to graduate at all and 19% more likely to graduate on time.
Graduation Rates for Part-Time, First-Time Students within 8 Years
SAU: 67% Avg: 15%
Among 4-year colleges with diverse degrees, holding sixty-seven percent of these students ranks St. Andrews as the highest graduation rate in the Southeast.
Graduation Rates for Full-Time, Not First-Time Students Within 6 Years
Almost one out of five students at St. Andrews either transferred in or left and came back. Here are graduation rates for those students:
SAU: 59% Avg: 49%
What Becomes of Students Who Don’t Get a Degree at St. Andrews?
The DOE reports that 57% of students who enroll at St. Andrews earn a degree. The remaining students either did not earn a degree within eight years or were lost to the system.
Some Students Transfer Out and Get Degrees Elsewhere
Students both transfer into St. Andrews and out of St. Andrews. Some students who do not earn a degree at St. Andrews transfer to another college and earn a degree there. For instance, 28% of students from the Laurinburg or Babson Park campuses transfer to a different college and either earn a degree within two years or are still enrolled at two years. This rate is comparable to the average of all Southeastern, 4-year colleges with diverse degrees: 26%.
Some Students Enter the Workforce with Some College. They Outperform Students with No College.
Attaining a college degree comes with diverse monetary and non-monetary rewards not fully experienced by those who have some college experience but no degree. That being said, the purpose of a college education is not the degree. The purpose of a college education is the education. In the workforce, having some college is better than having none.
Research demonstrates that students who attend some college enjoy significant employment benefits, even after controlling for their academic preparation and socio-demographic characteristics.* Attending college short of a degree creates a substantial stepping-stone toward better living. Emphasis on completion should not come at the expense of college access.
*Learn More: Giani MS, Attewell P, Walling D. The value of an incomplete degree: Heterogeneity in the labor market benefits of college non-completion. The Journal of Higher Education. 2020 Jun 6;91(4):514-39. Available Online.
Institution Characteristics: St. Andrews by the Numbers
Thorough, Professional, Systematic Inspections
One of the most impressive and important numbers describing St. Andrews is zero. A recent scheduled review with inspections by SACSCOC passed the university with flying colors. St. Andrews joined the elite minority of colleges receiving zero recommendations or findings (a.k.a. inspectors didn’t find one thing wrong). Before that, an inspection by the Board of Governors issued zero recommendations. Additionally, the NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) sent a committee for on-site inspections. The committee found 100% compliance and issued zero recommendations. This is another elite accomplishment, especially for a very new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Separately, the North Carolina Board of Nursing completed a scheduled inspection as our first graduates from the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program neared graduation. Their site visit found zero compliance issues.
The IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) divides degrees into 54 categories such as: agriculture, architecture, computer sciences, engineering, etc. The degrees awarded at St. Andrews fall into IPEDS categories as follows. The comparison average shows the rate at which these degrees are awarded at all Southeastern colleges in our category.
Percentage of Degrees Awarded That Are:
SAU: 7% Avg: 2%
SAU: 23% Avg: 7%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
SAU: 6% Avg: 5%
SAU: 4% Avg: 1%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, And Fitness Studies
SAU: 9% Avg: 6%
SAU: 8% Avg: 7%
Visual and Performing Arts:
SAU: 6% Avg: 4%
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services
SAU: 32% Avg: 22%
SAU: 3% Avg: 1%
SAU: Presbyterian Church (USA)
Avg: 60% of Southeastern colleges in our category report a religious affiliation to IPEDS.
SAU: 12% Avg: 70%
Share of Undergraduate, Degree-Seeking Students Who are Part-Time
SAU: 3% Avg: 17%
Average Family Income of Dependent Students (in real 2015 dollars)
SAU: $57,209 Avg: $52,739
Percentage of Undergraduates Age 25 and Above
SAU: 17% Avg: 23%
Share of Students Who Received a Pell Grant
SAU: 66% Avg: 73%
Laurinburg/SAU: $7,995,148 Babson Park: $6,863,658 Avg: $25,369,910
The St. Andrews endowment ranks number 56 of the 96 Southeastern colleges of our type – 58th percentile.
Are Test Scores Required for Admission?
Avg: 83% of colleges in our region and category do not require test scores be submitted.
Net Tuition Per Full-Time Equivalent Student
SAU: $15,603 Avg: $12,304
Ratio of Undergraduate Students to Faculty
SAU: 14 to 1 Avg: 14 to 1
Enrollment of Undergraduate, Degree-Seeking Students
Laurinburg/SAU: 876 Babson Park: 775 Avg: 1,255
Possible loan statuses are default, delinquency, forbearance, deferment, not making progress, making progress (a.k.a. in repayment), and paid in full. Student loans become payable six months after leaving the school. The students from both the Laurinburg and Babson Park campuses pay student loans at normal rates.
1-Year Repayment Share
SAU/Webber: 36% Avg: 38%
3-Year Repayment Share
SAU/Webber: 41% Avg: 43%
5-Year Repayment Share
SAU/Webber: 48% Avg: 49%
7-Year Repayment Share
SAU/Webber: 56% Avg: 54%
College data made public by the DOE comes from multiple sources such as IPEDS and the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Most of the information before this section comes from the IPEDS. IPEDS will report separate information for separate branch campuses. NSLDS reports one set of information for each university, regardless of branch locations. The NSLDS serves as the primary information source for debt, repayment, and earnings after college. Therefore, the data in this section and the data in the next three sections reflects the combined outcomes of the Laurinburg and Babson Park campuses of the whole university. The two campuses have similar enrollments. Undergraduate enrollment in Laurinburg was 876 in the current data, compared to Babson Park’s 775.
Debt: The Average Student Who Enrolls Emerges with 36% Less Debt
Median Loan Principal, All Students
SAU/Webber: $8,750 Avg: $13,702
Median Debt for Students Who Have Completed
SAU/Webber: $25,250 Avg: $24,253
Median Debt for Students Who Have Not Completed
SAU/Webber: $5,500 Avg: $8,853
Median Debt for Students Receiving Pell Grants
SAU/Webber: $9,500 Avg: $14,437
Earnings: Eight Years After Enrollment, Students from Our Campuses Earn 15% More Per Year
Median earnings include all students who enroll, both completers and non-completers. The timeframes reflect time since enrollment, not since graduation. Students who are still enrolled in college and people who are not working are excluded from these calculations.
Compare these numbers to the North Carolina median individual income of $34,209. Greater earnings come with age. The average American takes until age 37 or 38 to reach the median income. But St. Andrews students in their late twenties enjoy salaries on par with people in their late thirties.
People with a bachelor’s degree earn more than twice as much as people with only a high school degree over a lifetime. Likewise, their lifetime earnings accumulate to 45% more than the earnings of those with associate degrees. However, the differences shown below reflect the differences between colleges of the same type in the same region. Projecting the earnings differences below from age 28 to age 64, our students could earn a median of $200,000 more than other college students.
Median Earnings Six Years after Entry
SAU/Webber: $36,454 Avg: $33,626
Median Earnings Eight Years after Entry
SAU/Webber: $42,115 Avg: $36,625
Median Earnings Ten Years after Entry
SAU/Webber: $45,652 Avg: $39,781
Comparing earnings to debt puts both in perspective and serves as a measure of return on investment. The ratio below includes both completers and non-completers. The calculation divides the median earnings numbers above by the median debt. Higher numbers are better.
Earnings-to-Debt 6 Years after Entry
SAU/Webber: 417% Avg: 261%
At six years, our university has the fourth best earnings-to-debt ratio of all colleges in our category (Southeastern, primarily baccalaureate colleges with diverse degrees)
Earnings-to-Debt 10 Years after Entry
SAU/Webber: 522% Avg: 307%
At ten years, our university has the third best earnings-to-debt ratio among the 96 Southeastern colleges of our type.
St. Andrews meets and/or exceeds the norms set by the 96 baccalaureate colleges with diverse degrees in the Southeast. Strengths include degrees in education, on-time graduation, earnings, and earnings-to-debt ratios.
Having attended St. Andrews, we have made ourselves part of a continuum. This is a thread that started before us and will continue after us, but only by alumni participation in this tradition. Much like the difference between PBS and CBS, it is the charitable giving that liberates the organization to be different, to be more thoughtful, and to be something for a specific audience. In this way, the character of St. Andrews is not up to them. It is up to us. Will we be noisy cymbals, bystanders, or voices that arrive with value? Will we fail our own traditions, or will we leave the ladder down for those following behind us, the way those who came before us did and do? Now is a great time to make a recurring pledge to St. Andrews. Even small donations demonstrate to foundations that alumni vote for their alma mater. Additionally, foundations look to see if you are increasing your donations each year, even if it is by small amounts. You can set up a recurring donation with Cody McKeithan, in the Development Office, at (910) 277-5666 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the general fund automatically go to the area of most need, but let Cody know if you prefer targeted giving supporting the equestrian program, the Scottish Heritage Center, the Rooney Coffman Science Fund, the St. Andrews Press, the theater, or something else.
About the Data
U.S. Department of Education, “Most Recent Institution-Level Data” (Last updated April 25, 2023). Last accessed May 29, 2023. The Department of Education compiles data from a number of sources. Most data presented here comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) or the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
The Carnegie Classification system is a well-established framework for classifying colleges. It is updated every three years to reflect changes in higher education. The framework serves policy and research purposes, where it is important to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions. Both the Laurinburg and Babson Park campuses fall into the category of primarily baccalaureate colleges with diverse degrees. Other categories include, for example, “Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges: Associate’s Dominant,” “Doctoral/Professional Universities,” “Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges: Mixed Baccalaureate/Associate’s,” “Special Focus Four-Year: Medical Schools & Centers,” and “Special Focus Four-Year: Other Technology-Related Schools.”
The IPEDS data presented by the DOE divides United States colleges into ten regions. St. Andrews is grouped in the Southeast, which includes: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV.
This analysis uses a comparison group of colleges in the DOE data, in the same region (Southeast), and in the same Carnegie classification (Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields). This creates a cohort of 96 colleges. The cohort includes, for example, Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte, High Point University, University of South Carolina – Upstate, Lander University, and Limestone University.