Photograph by Bloomimages

Best Colleges for Return on Investment

  1. Ivies, Engineering Schools Top the List
    1

    Ivies, Engineering Schools Top the List

    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.

    Photograph by Bloomimages
  2. Best College ROI: Alabama
    2

    Best College ROI: Alabama

    Auburn University
    Auburn, Ala.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 70%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (22%), engineering (15%), education (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $8,298 (in-state) $22,890 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $7,426
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 56%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $50,420

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 197
    Graduation Rate: 67%
    30-Year ROI: $325,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $485,800
    Annualized ROI: 11%

    Runners-Up
    University of Alabama, Huntsville
    University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
    Samford University

    Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
  3. Best College ROI: Alaska
    3

    Best College ROI: Alaska

    University of Alaska
    Fairbanks, Alaska

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 79%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (17%), social sciences (10%), business/marketing (9%), psychology (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $5,907 (in-state) $18,357 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $3,643
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 40%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $54,830

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 458
    Graduation Rate: 28%
    30-Year ROI: $154,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $550,000
    Annualized ROI: 8.5%

    Runner-Up
    University of Alaska, Anchorage

  4. Best College ROI: Arizona
    4

    Best College ROI: Arizona

    Arizona State University
    Tempe, Ariz.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 89%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (16%), education (8%), interdisciplinary studies (8%), social sciences (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $9,720 (in-state) $22,319 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $8,223
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 69%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $49,900

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 289
    Graduation Rate: 56%
    30-Year ROI: $242,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $432,100
    Annualized ROI: 10.1%

    Runners-Up
    University of Arizona
    Northern Arizona University
    Grand Canyon University

  5. Best College ROI: Arkansas
    5

    Best College ROI: Arkansas

    University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, Ark.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 61%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (24%), engineering (9%), social sciences (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $7,174 (in-state) $17,606 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $7,276
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 50%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $48,690

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 359
    Graduation Rate: 59%
    30-Year ROI: $205,200
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $347,800
    Annualized ROI: 9.7%

    Runners-Up
    John Brown University
    Harding University
    University of Arkansas, Little Rock

  6. Best College ROI: California
    6

    Best College ROI: California

    Harvey Mudd College
    Claremont, Calif.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 22%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (42%), physical sciences (22%), computer & information sciences (12%), mathematics & statistics (12%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,410
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $20,639
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 82%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $127,200

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 1
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $1,545,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,698,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.1%

    Runners-Up
    California Institute of Technology
    Stanford University
    Claremont McKenna College

  7. Best College ROI: Colorado
    7

    Best College ROI: Colorado

    Colorado School of Mines
    Golden, Colo.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 45%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (89%), mathematics & statistics (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $14,454 (in-state) $29,139 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $7,138
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 70%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $67,610

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 20
    Graduation Rate: 67%
    30-Year ROI: $873,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,303,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.3%

    Runners-Up
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    Regis University
    University of Colorado, Denver

  8. Best College ROI: Connecticut
    8

    Best College ROI: Connecticut

    Yale University
    New Haven, Conn.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 8%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (27%), history (9%), biology (8%), interdisciplinary studies (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $40,500
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $33,714
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 59%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $76,440

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 25
    Graduation Rate: 98%
    30-Year ROI: $856,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $873,500
    Annualized ROI: 12.8%

    Runners-Up
    Wesleyan University
    Fairfield University
    University of Connecticut

    Courtesy Yale University
  9. Best College ROI: Delaware
    9

    Best College ROI: Delaware

    University of Delaware
    Newark, Del.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 58%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (20%), social sciences (12%), education (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $11,192 (in-state) $27,462 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $6,220
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 46%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $59,100

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 201
    Graduation Rate: 68%
    30-Year ROI: $321,600
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $472,900
    Annualized ROI: 10.5%

    Runner-Up
    Delaware State University

  10. Best College ROI: District of Columbia
    10

    Best College ROI: District of Columbia

    Georgetown University
    Washington, D.C.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 18%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (30%), business/marketing (26%), English (7%), health professions (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $41,393
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $26,794
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 45%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $111,300

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 32
    Graduation Rate: 93%
    30-Year ROI: $804,400
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $864,900
    Annualized ROI: 11.4%

    Runners-Up
    George Washington University
    Catholic University of America
    American University

    Courtesy Georgetown University
  11. Best College ROI: Florida
    11

    Best College ROI: Florida

    Florida Institute of Technology
    Melbourne, Fla.


    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 57%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (35%), business/marketing (17%), biology (12%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $34,990
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $18,804
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 96%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $110,600

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 161
    Graduation Rate: 58%
    30-Year ROI: $374,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $645,000
    Annualized ROI: 9%

    Runners-Up
    University of Florida
    University of Miami
    Florida State University

    Courtesy Florida Institute of Technology
  12. Best College ROI: Georgia
    12

    Best College ROI: Georgia

    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Atlanta

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 51%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (57%), business/marketing (14%), computer & information sciences (6%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $9,652 (in-state) $27,862 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $8,195
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 76%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $43,750

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 22
    Graduation Rate: 79%
    30-Year ROI: $866,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,097,000
    Annualized ROI: 14.9%

    Runners-Up
    Emory University
    University of Georgia
    Southern Polytechnic State University

    Photograph by Philip McCollum/Bloomberg
  13. Best College ROI: Hawaii
    13

    Best College ROI: Hawaii

    University of Hawaii, Manoa
    Honolulu

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 78%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (21%), social sciences (11%), education (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $9,100 (in-state) $23,932 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $4,120
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 55%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $63,540


    The Payoff

    National ROI Rank: 767
    Graduation Rate: 48%
    30-Year ROI: $45,760
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $95,330
    Annualized ROI: 5.7%

    Runner-Up
    Hawaii Pacific University

    Courtesy University of Hawai`i at Manoa
  14. Best College ROI: Idaho
    14

    Best College ROI: Idaho

    University of Idaho
    Moscow, Idaho

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 61%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (12%), education (9%), engineering (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $5,856 (in-state) $18,376 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,904
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 93%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $53,750


    The Payoff

    National ROI Rank: 333
    Graduation Rate: 56%
    30-Year ROI: $217,700
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $388,800
    Annualized ROI: 9.6%

    Runners-Up
    Idaho State University
    Boise State University

    Courtesy The University of Idaho
  15. Best College ROI: Illinois
    15

    Best College ROI: Illinois

    University of Illinois
    Urbana-Champaign, Ill.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 68%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (14%), business/marketing (11%), social sciences (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $13,838 (in-state) $27,980 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $9,706
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 44%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $63,710

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 54
    Graduation Rate: 83%
    30-Year ROI: $654,200
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $788,200
    Annualized ROI: 12.5%

    Runners-Up
    University of Chicago
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Northwestern University

    Courtesy University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  16. Best College ROI: Indiana
    16

    Best College ROI: Indiana

    University of Notre Dame
    Notre Dame, Ind.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 29%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (22%), social sciences (16%), foreign languages & literature (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $41,417
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $24,637
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $103,200

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 10
    Graduation Rate: 96%
    30-Year ROI: $1,075,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,120,000
    Annualized ROI: 12.6%

    Runners-Up
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    Purdue University
    Butler University

    Photograph by Layne Kennedy/Corbis
  17. Best College ROI: Iowa
    17

    Best College ROI: Iowa

    Drake University
    Des Moines

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 63%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (39%), communications/journalism (12%), social sciences (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $28,382
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $13,761
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 98%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $98,210

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 220
    Graduation Rate: 76%
    30-Year ROI: $302,800
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $398,400
    Annualized ROI: 8.8%

    Runners-Up
    Iowa State University
    University of Iowa
    Grinnell College

    Courtesy Drake University
  18. Best College ROI: Kansas
    18

    Best College ROI: Kansas

    University of Kansas
    Lawrence, Kan.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 93%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (14%), communications/journalism (13%), social sciences (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $9,222 (in-state) $22,608 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $4,781
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $64,040

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 345
    Graduation Rate: 61%
    30-Year ROI: $211,600
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $346,900
    Annualized ROI: 9%

    Runners-Up
    Baker University
    Kansas State University
    Wichita State University

  19. Best College ROI: Kentucky
    19

    Best College ROI: Kentucky

    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, Ky.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 68%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (18%), communications/journalism (10%), education (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $9,128 (in-state) $18,740 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,797
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 87%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $61,920

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 399
    Graduation Rate: 60%
    30-Year ROI: $183,300
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $305,500
    Annualized ROI: 8.7%

    Runners-Up
    Bellarmine University
    University of Louisville
    Northern Kentucky University

    Courtesy UKPR & Marketing Photos
  20. Best College ROI: Louisiana
    20

    Best College ROI: Louisiana

    Tulane University
    New Orleans

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 25%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (22%), social sciences (18%), biology (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $43,434
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $24,856
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 79%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $107,700

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 171
    Graduation Rate: 73%
    30-Year ROI: $360,900
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $494,400
    Annualized ROI: 9%

    Runners-Up
    Louisiana State University
    Louisiana Tech University
    McNeese State University

    Courtesy Tulane Public Relations
  21. Best College ROI: Maine
    21

    Best College ROI: Maine

    Bates College
    Lewiston, Me.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 27%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (26%), biology (11%), psychology (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $55,300*
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $30,503
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 41%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $87,810

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 87
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $512,300
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $563,000
    Annualized ROI: 10.7%
    Runners-Up Bowdoin College
    Colby College
    University of New England

    *Includes room & board

    Courtesy Bates College Photography
  22. Best College ROI: Maryland
    22

    Best College ROI: Maryland

    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 18%
    Most Popular Majors: Health professions (25%), engineering (18%), social sciences (16%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,780
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $25,969
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $107,800

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 42
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $740,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $813,300
    Annualized ROI: 11.2%

    Runners-Up
    Loyola College Maryland
    University of Maryland
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County

  23. Best College ROI: Massachusetts
    23

    Best College ROI: Massachusetts

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge, Mass.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 10%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (41%), computer & information sciences (13%), mathematics & statistics (10%), physical sciences (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $40,732
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $31,344
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 65%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $79,600

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 3
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $1,355,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,489,000
    Annualized ROI: 14.3%

    Runners-Up
    Harvard University
    Babson College
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Courtesy Andy Ryan/MIT News
  24. Best College ROI: Michigan
    24

    Best College ROI: Michigan

    University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Mich.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 41%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (17%), engineering (15%), psychology (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $12,634 (in-state) $37,782 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $7,497
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 71%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $64,920

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 75
    Graduation Rate: 89%
    30-Year ROI: $545,200
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $612,600
    Annualized ROI: 11.8%

    Runners-Up
    Kettering University
    Michigan Technological University
    Lawrence Technological University

    Photograph by Richard Barnes/University of Michigan via Bloomberg News
  25. Best College ROI: Minnesota
    25

    Best College ROI: Minnesota

    Carleton College
    Northfield, Minn.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 31%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (23%), physical sciences (14%), visual & performing arts (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,942
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $24,452
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 62%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $106,400

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 106
    Graduation Rate: 92%
    30-Year ROI: $476,300
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $517,700
    Annualized ROI: 9.9%

    Runners-Up
    Macalester College
    University of Minnesota
    University of St. Thomas

  26. Best College ROI: Mississippi
    26

    Best College ROI: Mississippi

    Mississippi State University
    Mississippi State, Miss.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 68%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (23%), education (17%), engineering (12%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $5,808 (in-state) $14,670 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,728
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 85%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $53,450

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 389
    Graduation Rate: 61%
    30-Year ROI: $187,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $307,400
    Annualized ROI: 9.1%

    Runners-Up
    University of Mississippi
    University of Southern Mississippi
    Mississippi University for Women

  27. Best College ROI: Missouri
    27

    Best College ROI: Missouri

    Washington University
    St. Louis

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 17%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (16%), engineering (14%), business/marketing (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $43,705
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $23,513
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $122,200

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 74
    Graduation Rate: 93%
    30-Year ROI: $547,400
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $588,600
    Annualized ROI: 9.9%

    Runners-Up
    Missouri University of Science & Technology
    Rockhurst University
    University of Missouri, Columbia

  28. Best College ROI: Montana
    28

    Best College ROI: Montana

    Montana Tech of the University of Montana
    Butte, Mont.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 89%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (61%), business/marketing (19%), health professions (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $6,175 (in-state) $17,269 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,893
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 80%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $48,960

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 311
    Graduation Rate: 40%
    30-Year ROI: $229,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $572,800
    Annualized ROI: 10%

    Runners-Up
    Montana State University, Bozeman
    University of Montana
    Carroll College

    Courtesy Montana Tech
  29. Best College ROI: Nebraska
    29

    Best College ROI: Nebraska

    Creighton University
    Omaha

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 78%
    Most Popular Majors: Health professions (15%), biology (11%), business/marketing (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $31,894
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $15,088
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 95%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $106,600

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 199
    Graduation Rate: 75%
    30-Year ROI: $323,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $431,300
    Annualized ROI: 8.7%

    Runners-Up
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    University of Nebraska, Omaha
    Nebraska Wesleyan University

  30. Best College ROI: Nevada
    30

    Best College ROI: Nevada

    University of Nevada
    Reno, Nev.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 86%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (15%), social sciences (13%), health professions (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $6,176 (in-state) $19,771 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $3,705
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 87%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $80,430

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 456
    Graduation Rate: 46%
    30-Year ROI: $154,300
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $335,400
    Annualized ROI: 7.6%

    Runner-Up
    University of Nevada, Las Vegas

  31. Best College ROI: New Hampshire
    31

    Best College ROI: New Hampshire

    Dartmouth College
    Hanover, N.H.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 12%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (31%), biology (11%), history (7%), psychology (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,996
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $31,536
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 51%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $82,510

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 7
    Graduation Rate: 94%
    30-Year ROI: $1,224,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,302,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.8%

    Runners-Up
    University of New Hampshire
    Southern New Hampshire University
    Rivier College

  32. Best College ROI: New Jersey
    32

    Best College ROI: New Jersey

    Princeton University
    Princeton, N.J.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 8%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (25%), engineering (17%), biology (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $37,000
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $32,449
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $73,080

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 5
    Graduation Rate: 97%
    30-Year ROI: $1,291,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,331,000
    Annualized ROI: 14.4%

    Runners-Up
    Stevens Institute of Technology
    New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Rutgers University, New Brunswick

  33. Best College ROI: New Mexico
    33

    Best College ROI: New Mexico

    New Mexico State University
    Las Cruces, N.M.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 80%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (19%), education (10%), engineering (7%), health professions (7%), liberal arts (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $5,827 (in-state) $18,268 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,685
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 82%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $55,120

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 462
    Graduation Rate: 45%
    30-Year ROI: $152,800
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $339,600
    Annualized ROI: 8.5%

    Runners-Up
    University of New Mexico
    Eastern New Mexico University

    Norm Dettlaff/Las Cruces Sun-News/AP Photo
  34. Best College ROI: New York
    34

    Best College ROI: New York

    Columbia University
    New York

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 7%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (25%), engineering (18%), biology (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $45,290
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $33,274
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $80,090

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 13
    Graduation Rate: 93%
    30-Year ROI: $972,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,046,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.1%

    Runners-Up
    Cornell University
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Manhattan College

    Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
  35. Best College ROI: North Carolina
    35

    Best College ROI: North Carolina

    Duke University
    Durham, N.C.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 14%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (21%), engineering (14%), biology (9%), public administration & social services (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $41,938
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $28,455
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 51%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $94,660

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 8
    Graduation Rate: 95%
    30-Year ROI: $1,170,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,232,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.2%

    Runners-Up
    Wake Forest University
    North Carolina State University
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  36. Best College ROI: North Dakota
    36

    Best College ROI: North Dakota

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, N.D.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 86%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (19%), engineering (14%), health professions (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $7,175 (in-state) $17,421 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $3,368
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 53%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $59,350

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 355
    Graduation Rate: 52%
    30-Year ROI: $206,600
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $397,300
    Annualized ROI: 9.1%

    Runners-Up
    University of North Dakota
    University of Mary
    Minot State University

  37. Best College ROI: Ohio
    37

    Best College ROI: Ohio

    Case Western Reserve University
    Cleveland

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 51%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (28%), biology (12%), social sciences (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $39,120
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $21,997
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 85%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $112,500

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 37
    Graduation Rate: 81%
    30-Year ROI: $755,800
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $933,100
    Annualized ROI: 11.1%

    Runners-Up
    Miami University
    Denison University
    Ohio Wesleyan University

  38. Best College ROI: Oklahoma
    38

    Best College ROI: Oklahoma

    University of Tulsa
    Tulsa

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 41%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (22%), business/marketing (20%), social sciences (8%), visual & performing arts (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $31,126
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $16,844
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 94%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $94,980

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 232
    Graduation Rate: 62%
    30-Year ROI: $289,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $466,900
    Annualized ROI: 8.8%

    Runners-Up
    University of Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State University
    Southwestern Oklahoma State University

  39. Best College ROI: Oregon
    39

    Best College ROI: Oregon

    University of Portland
    Portland, Ore.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 64%
    Most Popular Majors: Health professions (26%), business/marketing (16%), engineering (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $33,780
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $14,829
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 88%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $115,600

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 193
    Graduation Rate: 75%
    30-Year ROI: $327,600
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $436,800
    Annualized ROI: 8.6%

    Runners-Up
    Oregon State University
    Oregon Institute of Technology
    Linfield College

    Courtesy University of Portland
  40. Best College ROI: Pennsylvania
    40

    Best College ROI: Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 12%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (23%), social sciences (17%), biology (9%), engineering (9%), health professions (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,098
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $30,288
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 44%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $89,070

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 9
    Graduation Rate: 95%
    30-Year ROI: $1,119,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $1,178,000
    Annualized ROI: 13.2%

    Runners-Up
    Lehigh University
    Lafayette College
    Carnegie Mellon University

  41. Best College ROI: Rhode Island
    41

    Best College ROI: Rhode Island

    Brown University
    Providence

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 9%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (23%), biology (10%), visual & performing arts (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $42,230
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $28,860
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 45%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $92,000

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 15
    Graduation Rate: 95%
    30-Year ROI: $900,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $947,500
    Annualized ROI: 12.4%

    Runners-Up
    Providence College
    Bryant University
    University of Rhode Island

  42. Best College ROI: South Carolina
    42

    Best College ROI: South Carolina

    Clemson University
    Clemson, S.C.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 63%
    Most Popular Majors: Physical sciences (30%), business/marketing (16%), engineering (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $12,304 (in-state) $28,462 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $9,065
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 90%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $60,300

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 114
    Graduation Rate: 77%
    30-Year ROI: $439,700
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $571,000
    Annualized ROI: 11.4%

    Runners-Up
    Furman University
    University of South Carolina
    Bob Jones University

    Courtesy Clemson University
  43. Best College ROI: South Dakota
    43

    Best College ROI: South Dakota

    South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
    Rapid City, S.D.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 88%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (75%), physical sciences (10%), interdisciplinary studies (7%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $7,897 (in-state) $9,612 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $4,370
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 72%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $58,510

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 240
    Graduation Rate: 35%
    30-Year ROI: $284,300
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $812,300
    Annualized ROI: 10.1%

    Runners-Up
    South Dakota State University
    University of South Dakota
    Augustana College

    Courtesy SDSMT
  44. Best College ROI: Tennessee
    44

    Best College ROI: Tennessee

    Vanderbilt University
    Nashville

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 16%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (28%), engineering (17%), interdisciplinary studies (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $41,996
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $31,857
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $87,340

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 46
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $722,400
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $793,800
    Annualized ROI: 11.8%

    Runners-Up
    Christian Brothers University
    Tennessee Technological University
    University of Tennessee

    Courtesy Vanderbilt University
  45. Best College ROI: Texas
    45

    Best College ROI: Texas

    Rice University
    Houston

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 21%
    Most Popular Majors: Engineering (17%), social sciences (17%), biology (8%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $35,551
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $25,581
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 68%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $78,080

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 29
    Graduation Rate: 93%
    30-Year ROI: $835,800
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $898,700
    Annualized ROI: 12.7%

    Runners-Up
    Texas A&M University
    University of Texas, Austin
    Southern Methodist University

    Courtesy Rice University Public Affairs
  46. Best College ROI: Utah
    46

    Best College ROI: Utah

    Brigham Young University
    Provo, Utah

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 63%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (12%), biology (11%), social sciences (11%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $4,560*
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $4,090
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 62%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $55,100

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 101
    Graduation Rate: 77%
    30-Year ROI: $483,700
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $628,200
    Annualized ROI: 12%

    Runners-Up
    University of Utah
    Utah State University
    Weber State University

    *For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; nonmembers pay $9,120

  47. Best College ROI: Vermont
    47

    Best College ROI: Vermont

    Middlebury College
    Middlebury, Vt.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 18%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (30%), area & ethnic studies (9%), biology (9%), foreign languages & literature (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $53,800*
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $32,346
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 44%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $84,300

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 167
    Graduation Rate: 92%
    30-Year ROI: $366,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $397,900
    Annualized ROI: 9.8%

    Runners-Up
    University of Vermont
    Norwich University

    *Includes room and board

  48. Best College ROI: Virginia
    48

    Best College ROI: Virginia

    Washington & Lee University
    Lexington, Va.

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 18%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (20%), business/marketing (18%), foreign languages & literature (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $41,927
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $30,277
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 50%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $79,870

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 43
    Graduation Rate: 91%
    30-Year ROI: $736,000
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $808,800
    Annualized ROI: 12.2%

    Runners-Up
    University of Virginia
    College of William & Mary
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

    Courtesy Washington and Lee University
  49. Best College ROI: Washington
    49

    Best College ROI: Washington

    University of Washington
    Seattle

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 58%
    Most Popular Majors: Social sciences (19%), business/marketing (11%), biology (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $10,826 (in-state) $28,310 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $10,611
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 31%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $40,050

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 88
    Graduation Rate: 81%
    30-Year ROI: $509,200
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $628,600
    Annualized ROI: 13.3%

    Runners-Up
    Gonzaga University
    Whitman College
    Washington State University

    Photograph by Altrendo Travel
  50.  Best College ROI: West Virginia
    50

    Best College ROI: West Virginia

    West Virginia University
    Morgantown, W. Va.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 85%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (12%), engineering (11%), interdisciplinary studies (10%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $5,674 (in-state) $17,844 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,492
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 71%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $45,470

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 328
    Graduation Rate: 59%
    30-Year ROI: $222,100
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $376,400
    Annualized ROI: 10.1%

    Runners-Up
    West Virginia University Institute of Technology
    West Liberty University
    West Virginia Wesleyan College

  51. Best College ROI: Wisconsin
    51

    Best College ROI: Wisconsin

    Marquette University
    Milwaukee

    The Basics
    School Type: Private
    Applicants Admitted: 57%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (27%), communications/journalism (10%), engineering (9%), health professions (9%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $31,822
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $14,739
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 83%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $107,900

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 123
    Graduation Rate: 80%
    30-Year ROI: $421,700
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $527,100
    Annualized ROI: 9.5%

    Runners-Up
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Milwaukee School of Engineering
    University of Wisconsin, Platteville

  52. Best College ROI: Wyoming
    52

    Best College ROI: Wyoming

    University of Wyoming
    Laramie, Wyo.

    The Basics
    School Type: Public
    Applicants Admitted: 96%
    Most Popular Majors: Business/marketing (13%), education (13%), engineering (13%)

    The Payout
    Annual Tuition & Fees: $4,125 (in-state) $12,855 (out-of-state)
    Average Annual Grant Aid: $5,750
    Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 90%
    Total Net Cost of Degree: $46,310

    The Payoff
    National ROI Rank: 362
    Graduation Rate: 55%
    30-Year ROI: $202,500
    30-Year ROI for Graduates Only: $368,200
    Annualized ROI: 9.8%

    Runners-Up
    NA