The 20 Schools That Offer The Best Value For Your Money

Harvard business school HBS

Photo: Wikipedia

A provocative list from Payscale ranks colleges based on the bottom line, how much graduates earn.Payscale calculated this by looking at the return on investment, projected over a 30 year period, after graduating from undergrad study at the university.

Not surprisingly, many of the top schools are Ivy League universities, and only one school is public. For more analysis, see the Bro Theory.

The rankings do not include careers like law or medicine, which require addition degrees. No graduate who has received an additional degree is included in the calculations.

Note: The schools are ranked by the dollar amount 30-year return on investment, not by their overall ROI percentage.

#20: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $227,300

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,158,000

Annual Return on Investment: 10.8%

Source: Pay Scale

#19: Columbia University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $192,200

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,161,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.3%

Source: Pay Scale

#18: Colgate University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $187,700

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,167,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.4%

Source: Pay Scale

#17: Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $190,600

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,220,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.5%

Source: Pay Scale

#16: University of California, Berkeley

Type of School: Public (In-State)

Average College Cost in 2009: $118,900

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,223,000

Annual Return on Investment: 13.1%

Source: Pay Scale

#15: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $184,900

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): 1,224,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.6%

Source: Pay Scale

#14: Amherst College

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $188,200

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,259,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.6%

Source: Pay Scale

#12: Lehigh University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $180,400

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,308,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.9%

Source: Pay Scale

#11: Duke University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $187,600

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,319,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.8%

Source: Pay Scale

a duke freshman

#10: University of Pennsylvania

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $191,300

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,361,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.8%

Source: Pay Scale

#9: University of Notre Dame

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $181,900

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,384,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.1%

Source: Pay Scale

#8: Yale University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $194,200

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,392,000

Annual Return on Investment: 11.9%

Source: Pay Scale

#7: Princeton University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $187,700

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,517,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.3%

Source: Pay Scale

#6: Stanford University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $191,800

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,565,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.3%

Source: Pay Scale

#5: Dartmouth College

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $188,400

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,587,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.4%

Source: Pay Scale

#4: Harvey Mudd College

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $187,700

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,627,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.5%

Source: Pay Scale

#3: Harvard University

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $189,600

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,631,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.5%

Source: Pay Scale

#2: California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $181,100

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,644,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.6%

Source: Pay Scale

#1: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Type of School: Private

Average College Cost in 2009: $189,300

30 Year Return on Investment (2010 Numbers): $1,688,000

Annual Return on Investment: 12.6%

Source: Pay Scale

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