A couple of weeks ago, the University of Evansville Alumni Association started telling its alumni that they had fabulous job placement. To quote their tweet:

98% of UE Business grads last year landed a job in their chosen field & avg starting salary was 40k

This seemed incredible right away. First, the school of business at Evansville is very small, generating between 60 and 80 graduates in an academic year, meaning that 98% of students would probably mean "all but two."

Second, because this data has to be determined in some way, most likely by a survey, there is the potential for selection bias, where the survey might be distributed only to a select group, or the survey might somehow discourage the unemployed from responding.

There wasn't anyway to prove or disprove this, until this week when UE released a larger survey of the entire 2012 graduating class (not just the school of business).

In that survey, the headline was that 92% of Evansville graduates were either employed or pursuing a graduate degree, with a median salary of $42,000.

The problem? Part-time jobs are being counted. I can't imagine that many college graduates are looking to wait tables. Looking at strictly full-time work, or graduate school, the number is 67%. That does exclude some people who did not specify the nature of their work, so it may be a little too low.

But that number isn't going to trigger anyone's BS detector, which is arguably a problem with both the 92% and 98% figures.