11 Colleges That ARE Worth The Money

Deciding which college to attend may make all the difference in your lifetime earning potential.

And the colleges and universities on this list prove that a degree in engineering is definitely worth the money.

Payscale put together a report comparing ROI data on 1,060 schools in the country to determine if an expensive tuition is still worth the cost. In the report, Payscale added up the median pay from the last 30 years to get a net 30-year return on investment from various American schools.

Still, “return on investment is a murky thing,” says Katie Bardaro, lead economist at Payscale, but “every time we’ve released this list, the schools that dominate are always engineering schools.”

Despite the rising costs of education, Bardaro says that a bachelor’s degree is still worth it, because “the truth of the matter is, the Bill Gates story isn’t very typical.” However, people do need to know what they intend to study and if the payout after school will justify the costs. Another thing young people need to consider is the growth in the jobs they want to have after school.

On this list, Harvey Mudd College — the small, private liberal arts school ranked #1 — may not be the most recognisable engineering school, yet the it’s heavier emphasis on liberal arts studies compared to other engineering schools may be producing a more well-rounded education.

Payscale required the universities and colleges selected to have at least 1,000 undergraduates in their bachelor’s program in 2012 and enough data available for the company to calculate a 30-year return on investment.

11. Claremont McKenna College

Located in Claremont, Calif.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $220,300

30-year net ROI: $1,341,000

Source: Payscale

10. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT)

Located in Terre Haute, Ind.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $209,400

30-year net ROI: $1,354,000

Source: Payscale

9. Georgia Institute of Technology

Located in Atlanta, Ga.

School type: public

Cost (2012): $87,030

30-year net ROI: $1,389,000

Source: Payscale

8. Stanford University

Located in Stanford, Calif.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $230,100

30-year net ROI: $1,432,000

Source: Payscale

7. Stevens Institute of Technology

Located in Hoboken, N.J.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $237,300

30-year net ROI: $1,461,000

Source: Payscale

6. Colorado School of Mines

Located in Golden, Colo.

School type: public

Cost (2012): $170,900

30-year net ROI: $1,461,000

Source: Payscale

5. SUNY - Maritime College

Located in Throgs Neck, N.Y.

School type: public

Cost (2012): $124,800

30-year net ROI: $1,552,000

Source: Payscale

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Located in Cambridge, Mass.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $215,700

30-year net ROI: $1,606,000

Source: Payscale

3. Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly)

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $214,300

30-year net ROI: $1,622,000

Source: Payscale

2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Located in Pasadena, Calif.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $213,000

30-year net ROI: $1,991,000

Source: Payscale

1. Harvey Mudd College

Located in Claremont, Calif.

School type: private

Cost (2012): $221,700

30-year net ROI: $2,113,000

Source: Payscale

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