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Top Colleges by Return on Investment

The top colleges in the United States organized by ROI, Return on Investment, are listed below along with other data elements.  The Seattle-based data company Payscale published a report breaking down the top colleges in the country organized by value-orientation.  The majority of the programs listed below or schools emphasizing STEM science which are science, technology, engineering, and math programs which are in high demand.  In fact, our recent study reveals many STEM sciences on the list of best paying jobs with a college degree found here.

Half of the schools listed below are private institutions and a few schools repeat on the list as the in-state and out-of-state rates of tuition differ yet still place the school at the top of the list for return on investment (ROI).   Key drivers of ROI are the net cost, degree path, average compensation after graduation, geographic location, and loan payback.   Taking those factors into account, a list of the top ROI for colleges in the United States include the following:

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) 

  • Net 20-year ROI:$738,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$232,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$11,375
  • Graduation Rate:78%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

 Kettering University

  • Net 20-year ROI:$743,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$208,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$8,340
  • Graduation Rate:57%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

Georgia Institute of Technology 

  • Net 20-year ROI:$746,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$174,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,340
  • Graduation Rate:82%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Net 20-year ROI:$752,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$235,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$10,750
  • Graduation Rate:85%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Stanford University

  • Net 20-year ROI: $761,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$247,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$7,275
  • Graduation Rate:95%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Princeton University

  • Net 20-year ROI: $764,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$231,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$3,525
  • Graduation Rate:97%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

  • Net 20-year ROI:$773,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$89,900
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$8,000
  • Graduation Rate:70%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

California State University, Maritime (Out-of-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$781,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$131,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$7,650
  • Graduation Rate:54%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Stevens Institute of Technology 

  • Net 20-year ROI:$800,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$244,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$11,450
  • Graduation Rate:82%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

 Colorado School of Mines (Out-of-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$818,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$188,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,700
  • Graduation Rate:76%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

Georgia Institute of Technology 

  • Net 20-year ROI:$824,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$96,200
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,340
  • Graduation Rate:82%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

 California State University, Maritime (In-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$826,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$87,500
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$7,650
  • Graduation Rate:54%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Cabrini University

  • Net 20-year ROI:$221,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$182,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$38,600
  • Graduation Rate:50%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Webb Institute

  • Net 20-year ROI:$854,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$209,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,300
  • Graduation Rate:91%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

SUNY - Maritime College (Out-of-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$857,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$130,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,400
  • Graduation Rate:47%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$864,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$240,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$4,750
  • Graduation Rate:92%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Colorado School of Mines (In-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$883,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$123,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,680
  • Graduation Rate:76%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

SUNY - Maritime College (In-State)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$895,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$92,300
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,400
  • Graduation Rate:47%
  • Average Years in School:5 years

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$959,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$240,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$8,050
  • Graduation Rate:91%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

Harvey Mudd College

  • Net 20-year ROI:$962,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$260,000
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$6,100
  • Graduation Rate:90%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

United State Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)

  • Net 20-year ROI:$1,056,000
  • Total 4-year Cost:$33,100
  • Average Loan Amount/Year:$3,075
  • Graduation Rate:72%
  • Average Years in School:4 years

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