In our third annual ranking of the best colleges for return on investment, top honors once again went to elite research universities, Ivy League institutions, and engineering schools. Check out our list of the schools in each state that offer the best ROI.
Note: The ranking was prepared by PayScale and is based on self-reported pay data obtained through its online salary survey tools; on average, pay reports from about 1,000 alumni from each school were used in the return on investment (ROI) calculations. The schools were ranked according to the 30-year net ROI, which represents the typical earnings of a graduate (in excess of those of a high school graduate) in 2012 dollars after deducting the net cost of the degree and adjusting for the school's six-year graduation rate. (An unadjusted ROI for graduates only is also shown.) The net cost of the degree is based on the total cost of attending the institution (including tuition & fees, room & board, and books), minus the average grant aid award, and the percentage of students who graduate in 4, 5, and 6 years. Annualized ROI is the percentage of ROI received each year after graduation; it is based on the 30-year net ROI, net cost of the degree, and annual wage inflation of 3.8 percent.
Data: PayScale, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, College Board. ROI shown for state schools was calculated using in-state tuition.