Educator Toolbox

TXGU Activity: Learning About ROI


Created By:
 Texas GEAR UP

Grade Level: 11th

Introduction for Educators: What’s the biggest investment you've ever made? A car? A house? Your students have never made such an investment. In the future, they'll have to make a very expensive investment in college. There are many college options, and not all of them will give the student a meaningful return.

Help your TXGU students make the right choice about college by teaching them the concept of return on investment.

Introduction for Students: The idea of paying for college may sound overwhelming. When you feel this way, remember the concept of return on investment. If you succeed in paying for college, you’re more likely to find a well-paying job. So over time, a college degree will help you make much more money than you spent on actually earning the degree.

The Activity: Yes, college will cost some money. It’s also a key to making money. The amount of money that you spend on college is called an investment. The amount of money you are able to make afterward is called a return on investment (ROI). 

Identify three careers you find interesting, and estimate their ROI. Find a list of possible careers, as well as the amount of money you’ll make working that job for a year (called a salary). This "Career Clusters" list will help. 

Determine the ROI you would make after ten years of working in this field. Here's how:

  1. Choose a career
  1. Multiple the average salary by 10
  1. Subtract the cost of your college experience

What you have left is your ROI in ten years. Do you think a college degree is worth the investment?