2/11/2022 Kim O'Brien

Class of 2020 Shows Rate of Return on F&M Education

Within six months after graduation, 93% of F&M’s class of 2020 was either employed or enrolled in graduate school.

The members of Franklin & Marshall’s Class of 2020 quickly found their footing, despite a pandemic-disrupted College experience. 

Within six months after graduation, 93% of F&M’s class of 2020 was either employed or enrolled in graduate school.

The value of a F&M degree is strongly reflected when compared to national outcomes. Just 50% of the national college graduating class of 2020 had traditional full-time jobs six months after graduation, reports the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

Explore F&M Class of 2020 outcomes by career field and graduate school.

“At F&M, I learned so much more about how to think than what to think,” said Mira Lerner '20, a  candidate for the juris doctorate degree at Harvard Law School. 

“The opportunities I had to engage in research at F&M allowed me to enter law school already comfortable consulting different kinds of sources and reaching across disciplines,” said Lerner, who majored in environmental studies and psychology. 

Prior to graduation, students have the chance to prepare for the workforce or further studies through immersive programs led by F&M's Office of Student & Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD).

In January, dozens of seniors participated in live job interviews with F&M faculty and staff to receive real-time feedback, part of OSPGD’s popular Boot Camp program, held during winter break. 

  • Mira Lerner '20, right, with fellow graduate Charlotte McAdams '20. Lerner is a candidate for the juris doctorate degree at Harvard Law School. McAdams is a student at Harvard Divinity School. Mira Lerner '20, right, with fellow graduate Charlotte McAdams '20. Lerner is a candidate for the juris doctorate degree at Harvard Law School. McAdams is a student at Harvard Divinity School.
  • “I've found that the liberal arts approach to thinking and learning fits well with law school. You have to be comfortable with thinking from different perspectives, being creative, and dealing with ambiguity, all skills that I really developed at F&M,” said Julia Bevan '20, a candidate for the juris doctorate degree at New York University School of Law. “I've found that the liberal arts approach to thinking and learning fits well with law school. You have to be comfortable with thinking from different perspectives, being creative, and dealing with ambiguity, all skills that I really developed at F&M,” said Julia Bevan '20, a candidate for the juris doctorate degree at New York University School of Law.

For grads like Julia Bevan, also a 2020 alumna, a liberal arts education provided both the challenge and supportive environment needed to land a competitive fellowship prior to enrolling at New York University School of Law.

Bevan applied to law school before the pandemic, but deferred enrolling for a fellowship through the Weil, Gotshal, & Manges Legal Innovator's Program. She spent a year at the Houston Tahirih Justice Center researching the impacts of COVID-19 on immigrant justice. 

“The best preparation that I got was from Professor [Susan] Dicklitch-Nelson's course, Human Rights-Human Wrongs,” Bevan said. 

Bevan, who majored in government and religious studies with a minor in Arabic, worked on real asylum cases, preparing country conditions packets and briefs for attorneys. 

“That course both gave me direct experience in the legal field and helped me establish a network in the immigration field,” she said. 

An F&M liberal arts education provides students the edge for excelling.

“I've found that the liberal arts approach to thinking and learning fits well with law school. You have to be comfortable with thinking from different perspectives, being creative, and dealing with ambiguity, all skills that I really developed at F&M,” Bevan said. 

Sucess Beyond F&M

Visit F&M's Success Beyond F&M interactive site to explore top employers, career fields, graduate schools and industries.   

Where Are They Now?
  • Pie chart showing 93% of F&M class of 2020 were employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

The Long Term Value of a Liberal Arts Education

When selecting a college, initial costs are often emphasized over lifetime value and outcomes. But more important to consider is an individual’s long-term earnings upon graduation from an institution, which reveals the true value of that four-year degree.

Strictly from the perspective of that financial investment, a recent report presents new evidence to show that a small, private liberal arts college education has an attractive financial rate of return on investment (FROI).

Read the Report 

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