The 15 Colleges That Offer The Best Value For Your Money

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Photo: LewisandClarkCommunityCollegeviaFlickr

College is expensive, but if you choose carefully, it really pays off. PayScale surveyed full-time U.S. employees with bachelors degrees to find out which colleges have the best returns on investment.

This year, Harvey Mudd College took the top spot, edging out Ivies such as Stanford, Harvard, and M.I.T.

And Colorado School of Mines made its first appearance on the list.

For the list, PayScale projected the average future income of each school’s graduates. Then it compared the future income to the cost of the college’s tuition.

Not surprisingly, technical schools and Ivies ranked pretty high. But small state school and small religious schools didn’t fare so well.

#15 Columbia University

30-year net ROI: $845,100

Annual ROI: 9.4%

Total tuition cost: $217,100

Source: Payscale

#14 Colorado School of Mines

30-year net ROI: $851,700

Annual ROI: 11.9%

Total tuition cost: $99,460

Source: Payscale

#13 Cornell University

30-year net ROI: $857,500

Annual ROI: 9.6%

Total tuition cost: $209,600

Source: Payscale

#12 Lehigh University

30-year net ROI: $900,900

Annual ROI: 9.8%

Total tuition cost: $202,800

Source: Payscale

#11 Babson College

30-year net ROI: $970,600

Annual ROI: 10.0%

Total tuition cost: $208,100

Source: Payscale


#10 University of Notre Dame

30-year net ROI: $978,800

Annual ROI: 10.1%

Total tuition cost: $203,500

Source: Payscale

#9 University of Pennsylvania

30-year net ROI: $1,001,000

Annual ROI: 10.0%

Total tuition cost: $212,800

Source: Payscale

#8 Duke University

30-year net ROI: $1,060,000

Annual ROI: 10.2%

Total tuition cost: $210,900

Source: Payscale

#7 Dartmouth College

30-year net ROI: $1,102,000

Annual ROI: 10.3%

Total tuition cost: $212,000

Source: Payscale

#6 Harvard University

30-year net ROI: $1,115,000

Annual ROI: 10.4%

Total tuition cost: $210,400

Source: Payscale

#5 Princeton University

30-year net ROI: $1,163,000

Annual ROI: 10.6%

Total tuition cost: $205,6000

Source: Payscale

#4 Stanford University

30-year net ROI: $1,194,000

Annual ROI: 10.4%

Total tuition cost: $220,200

Source: Payscale

#3 MIT

30-year net ROI: $1,238,000

Annual ROI: 10.7%

Total tuition cost: $208,100

Source: Payscale

#2 California Institute of Technology

30-year net ROI: $1,417,000

Annual ROI: 11.2%

Total tuition cost: $207,400

Source: Payscale

#1 Harvey Mudd College

30-year net ROI: $1,467,000

Annual ROI: 11.2%

Total tuition cost: $212,900

Source: Payscale

But where are you going to get the BEST education?

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