BISMARCK, ND — The accolades continue to come in for the University of Mary in Bismarck. Stacker, the national online survey company, ranks Mary the No. 1 private college with the best return on investment (ROI) in North Dakota. Key metrics such as low cost, low median debt, combined with higher income value a graduate receives during their career pushed the Catholic university to the state’s top spot.

“University of Mary is an affordable school with an average yearly tuition of roughly $23,000, according to College Factual,” said Stacker. “Ninety-nine percent of its students receive some sort of financial aid, whether that’s scholarships, grants, loans, or a combination. Average starting salary is $47,000 for graduates, meaning it will take about 2.1 years to break even.”

According to Stacker, it compiled a list of the private colleges with the best return on investment in every state using a study by Georgetown University. Private nonprofit colleges that primarily issue bachelor’s degrees were considered. The college with the highest 40-year ROI in every state was included.

Brenda Nagel
VP, Public Affairs, University of Mary

“This is just further proof that the University of Mary is no longer the best kept secret in higher education,” said Brenda Nagel, vice president for public affairs at Mary. “Note also that ROI has implications beyond a family’s pocketbook. Mary students get the full university experience including fun. Our students enjoy championship golf courses, downhill skiing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and rock climbing.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, since 2010, the number of people 25 and older who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher has increased from 29.9 percent to 36 percent. College graduates can earn more than $30,000 more per year than someone with a high school degree. Statistics from show that the average cost for an education at private universities is $53,102.

“The University of Mary has pioneered a real solution for those students who want to receive a higher education with less time, less cost, less debt, and greater earning potential than in traditional programs. It’s called Year-Round Campus (YRC),” added Nagel. “Students leapfrog one of the most aggravating higher education obstacles – time-to-degree. The average US student now takes five or six years to complete a traditional 4-year degree program – and significantly longer to complete postgraduate work. At Year-Round Campus, students can earn their undergraduate degree in just 2.6 years of continuous study — eight continuous semesters with breaks in between — then seamlessly transition immediately into their master’s degree at Mary and finish in a total of four years. That’s less time than it takes most U.S. students to earn a B.A.”

The University of Mary is listed with recognizable schools from other states such as, Stanford University (CA), Regis University (CO), Yale University (CT), Emory University (GA), Tulane University (LA), Johns Hopkins University (MD), St. John’s University (MN), Creighton University (NE), Duke University (NC), Vanderbilt (TN), and more.

For more information about programs visit Those interested in enrolling should email or call (701) 355-8030, (800) 288-6279.