10 Colleges That are Worth Every Penny
Payscale measures mid-career salaries from graduates to determine the colleges with the best ROI.
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
January 26, 2018
As graduates leave colleges saddled with debt and make monthly loan payment after loan payment, they oftentimes look back at their college experience and wonder…was it worth it?
Fortunately, there are ways to measure whether or not a college degree is, or was, really worth it. Payscale, a company that measures salaries across industries and locations, measures earnings from graduates over time to determine which colleges provide the best return on investment (ROI). In plain terms, they find out which colleges provide the most bang for their buck once students graduate and begin their journey in the real world.
Payscale acknowledges that there are a few factors that go into making a college a great return on investment at this time:
- Fields of study – schools that offer majors in engineering, science and math offer a great ROI because these positions offer better salaries.
- Financial aid – more financial aid for students means less debt for them after graduate, which translates into a positive ROI.
- Ivy League – the best universities in the country typically pave the way for graduates to land top-notch jobs with higher salaries.
10. Stanford University – $140,400
9. Harvard University – $140,700
8. Babson College – $141,700
7. California Institute of Tech (CalTech) – $142,500
6. U.S. Naval Academy – $143,800
5. U.S. Military Academy (West Point) – $144,300
4. SUNY Maritime College – $145,100
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – $147,000
2. Princeton University – $147,800
1. Harvey Mudd College – $155,800
In the full report, Payscale assessed over 1,500 colleges and universities across the country. While return on investment is definitely worthwhile in helping to make a college decision, it shouldn’t be the leading factor. There are plenty of great colleges out there that offer a great return on investment that may not even be listed.
Students and parents should look at colleges from all angles — from the majors offered to campus community to financial aid to student success outcomes. Finding a college based on all of these factors will provide more than a return on investment; it will guarantee a college experience that was worth every penny — both literally and figuratively.
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