For prospective college students and their parents, the deck can sometimes seem stacked against them. Published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities over the past decade have increased at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent beyond the rate of inflation, the highest increase of the past three decades, according to the College Board. At private schools, costs can easily top $200,000 for a four-year degree. College seniors graduating in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt, even as the job market for new graduates was making it impossible for many to make the first payment.

It doesn't have to be that way. In the slides that follow, you'll find 50 colleges and universities where a typical financial aid recipient can get a bachelor's degree for an average cost of less than $74,000 (no school will set you back more than $100,000). And every school boasts a 30-year return on investment that is well above average. How much above average? Well, graduates of all 50 schools in this slide show averaged a 30-year ROI of 147 percent to 324 percent of the national average, with the No. 1 school topping out above $2 million. They're affordable thanks to generous financial aid packages that on average cover about half of the degree's "sticker price."

Some of the names on the list will surprise you. They include everything from big state schools to elite research universities, and even a few members of the Ivy League. There are schools from 20 states, with 10 schools from California making the list, including five from the UC system alone. It helps if you have your sights set on a career in engineering, as many of the schools specialize in that discipline, but liberal arts schools also make a showing. And there are a few schools you might never have heard of.

For the complete ranking of all 693 schools, check out our interactive table. For a more detailed description of the methodology and findings, see, "College ROI: What We Found."

Note: This ranking was created in conjunction with PayScale, which ranked 693 schools on 30-year ROI for Bloomberg Businessweek, using pay data it collects from individuals who employ its online pay comparison tools. To rank the schools in this slide show, Bloomberg Businessweek chose schools with the best ROI that met these criteria: net costs below $100,000; larger than average financial aid awards relative to total costs; larger than average distribution of financial aid awards; and graduation rates above 57 percent, the average for all schools in the study. In the slides that follow, Undergraduates Receiving Aid is the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates at each institution receiving local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2008-09 academic year. Total Cost is tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies for the average length of time required to obtain a bachelor's degree at each school. Net Cost is the same figure minus grant aid for the same period. Median Pay is for all alumni who graduated from 1981 to 2010 who reported 2010 compensation to PayScale. The 30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates represents the average earnings of a graduate (in excess of those of a high school graduate) after deducting the net cost of the degree. It assumes a 100 percent graduation rate. Annual Cost is for the 2009-10 academic year and includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies. Average Annual Aid Package is for those who received grant aid during the 2008-09 academic year. Four-Year Graduation Rate is the percentage of graduates receiving a degree within four years. Total Discount represents the portion of total costs covered by grant aid. For state schools, all cost and ROI data are for in-state students only.

Data: PayScale, Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, College Board, Bloomberg Businessweek research
Cooper Union
For prospective college students and their parents, the deck can sometimes seem stacked against them. Published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities over the past decade have increased at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent beyond the rate of inflation, the highest increase of the past three decades, according to the College Board. At private schools, costs can easily top $200,000 for a four-year degree. College seniors graduating in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt, even as the job market for new graduates was making it impossible for many to make the first payment.

It doesn't have to be that way. In the slides that follow, you'll find 50 colleges and universities where a typical financial aid recipient can get a bachelor's degree for an average cost of less than $74,000 (no school will set you back more than $100,000). And every school boasts a 30-year return on investment that is well above average. How much above average? Well, graduates of all 50 schools in this slide show averaged a 30-year ROI of 147 percent to 324 percent of the national average, with the No. 1 school topping out above $2 million. They're affordable thanks to generous financial aid packages that on average cover about half of the degree's "sticker price."

Some of the names on the list will surprise you. They include everything from big state schools to elite research universities, and even a few members of the Ivy League. There are schools from 20 states, with 10 schools from California making the list, including five from the UC system alone. It helps if you have your sights set on a career in engineering, as many of the schools specialize in that discipline, but liberal arts schools also make a showing. And there are a few schools you might never have heard of.

For the complete ranking of all 693 schools, check out our interactive table. For a more detailed description of the methodology and findings, see, "College ROI: What We Found."

Note: This ranking was created in conjunction with PayScale, which ranked 693 schools on 30-year ROI for Bloomberg Businessweek, using pay data it collects from individuals who employ its online pay comparison tools. To rank the schools in this slide show, Bloomberg Businessweek chose schools with the best ROI that met these criteria: net costs below $100,000; larger than average financial aid awards relative to total costs; larger than average distribution of financial aid awards; and graduation rates above 57 percent, the average for all schools in the study. In the slides that follow, Undergraduates Receiving Aid is the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates at each institution receiving local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2008-09 academic year. Total Cost is tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies for the average length of time required to obtain a bachelor's degree at each school. Net Cost is the same figure minus grant aid for the same period. Median Pay is for all alumni who graduated from 1981 to 2010 who reported 2010 compensation to PayScale. The 30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates represents the average earnings of a graduate (in excess of those of a high school graduate) after deducting the net cost of the degree. It assumes a 100 percent graduation rate. Annual Cost is for the 2009-10 academic year and includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies. Average Annual Aid Package is for those who received grant aid during the 2008-09 academic year. Four-Year Graduation Rate is the percentage of graduates receiving a degree within four years. Total Discount represents the portion of total costs covered by grant aid. For state schools, all cost and ROI data are for in-state students only.

Data: PayScale, Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, College Board, Bloomberg Businessweek research
Cooper Union

Fifty Affordable Colleges With the Best ROI

Generous Financial Aid Cuts Costs
Generous Financial Aid Cuts Costs
For prospective college students and their parents, the deck can sometimes seem stacked against them. Published tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities over the past decade have increased at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent beyond the rate of inflation, the highest increase of the past three decades, according to the College Board. At private schools, costs can easily top $200,000 for a four-year degree. College seniors graduating in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt, even as the job market for new graduates was making it impossible for many to make the first payment.

It doesn't have to be that way. In the slides that follow, you'll find 50 colleges and universities where a typical financial aid recipient can get a bachelor's degree for an average cost of less than $74,000 (no school will set you back more than $100,000). And every school boasts a 30-year return on investment that is well above average. How much above average? Well, graduates of all 50 schools in this slide show averaged a 30-year ROI of 147 percent to 324 percent of the national average, with the No. 1 school topping out above $2 million. They're affordable thanks to generous financial aid packages that on average cover about half of the degree's "sticker price."

Some of the names on the list will surprise you. They include everything from big state schools to elite research universities, and even a few members of the Ivy League. There are schools from 20 states, with 10 schools from California making the list, including five from the UC system alone. It helps if you have your sights set on a career in engineering, as many of the schools specialize in that discipline, but liberal arts schools also make a showing. And there are a few schools you might never have heard of.

For the complete ranking of all 693 schools, check out our interactive table. For a more detailed description of the methodology and findings, see, "College ROI: What We Found."

Note: This ranking was created in conjunction with PayScale, which ranked 693 schools on 30-year ROI for Bloomberg Businessweek, using pay data it collects from individuals who employ its online pay comparison tools. To rank the schools in this slide show, Bloomberg Businessweek chose schools with the best ROI that met these criteria: net costs below $100,000; larger than average financial aid awards relative to total costs; larger than average distribution of financial aid awards; and graduation rates above 57 percent, the average for all schools in the study. In the slides that follow, Undergraduates Receiving Aid is the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates at each institution receiving local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2008-09 academic year. Total Cost is tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies for the average length of time required to obtain a bachelor's degree at each school. Net Cost is the same figure minus grant aid for the same period. Median Pay is for all alumni who graduated from 1981 to 2010 who reported 2010 compensation to PayScale. The 30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates represents the average earnings of a graduate (in excess of those of a high school graduate) after deducting the net cost of the degree. It assumes a 100 percent graduation rate. Annual Cost is for the 2009-10 academic year and includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, and supplies. Average Annual Aid Package is for those who received grant aid during the 2008-09 academic year. Four-Year Graduation Rate is the percentage of graduates receiving a degree within four years. Total Discount represents the portion of total costs covered by grant aid. For state schools, all cost and ROI data are for in-state students only.

Data: PayScale, Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, College Board, Bloomberg Businessweek research
Cooper Union
No. 1: California Institute of Technology
No. 1: California Institute of Technology
Pasadena

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 13 percent
Median Pay: $108,000
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $2,033,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $49,572
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 82 percent
Total Cost: $198,700
Net Cost: $91,250

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 58 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,439
Total Discount: 54.1 percent
California Institute of Technology
No. 2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
No. 2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 10 percent
Median Pay: $99,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,797,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,000
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 91 percent
Total Cost: $201,000
Net Cost: $72,560

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 65 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $31,344
Total Discount: 63.9 percent
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
No. 3: Dartmouth College
No. 3: Dartmouth College
Hanover, N.H.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 9.7 percent
Median Pay: $96,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,701,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,973
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $202,300
Net Cost: $72,850

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 51 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $31,536
Total Discount: 64 percent
Dartmouth University
No. 4: Stanford University
No. 4: Stanford University
Stanford, Calif.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research

Applicants Admitted: 7.1 percent

Median Pay: $96,200
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,691,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $54,009
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 83 percent
Total Cost: $210,400
Net Cost: $75,710

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 63 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $32,063
Total Discount: 64 percent
Stanford University
No. 5: Princeton University
No. 5: Princeton University
Princeton, N.J.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League

Applicants Admitted: 8.4 percent

Median Pay: $95,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,673,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $51,260
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 93 percent
Total Cost: $198,700
Net Cost: $66,270

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $32,449
Total Discount: 66.6 percent
Princeton University
No. 6: Duke University
No. 6: Duke University
Durham, N.C.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 16 percent
Median Pay: $93,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,609,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,035
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent
Total Cost: $201,300
Net Cost: $85,100

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 51 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $28,455
Total Discount: 57.7 percent
Duke University
No. 7: Colorado School of Mines
No. 7: Colorado School of Mines
Golden, Colo.

The Basics
School Type: Public—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 46 percent
Median Pay: $92,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,591,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $23,464
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 60 percent
Total Cost: $92,820
Net Cost: $60,960

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 70 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $7,138
Total Discount: 34.3 percent
Colorado School of Mines
No. 8: University of Pennsylvania
No. 8: University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 14 percent
Median Pay: $91,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,551,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,250
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 93 percent
Total Cost: $203,900
Net Cost: $80,210

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 44 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $30,288
Total Discount: 60.7 percent
University of Pennsylvania
No. 9: Harvard University
No. 9: Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 6.2 percent
Median Pay: $90,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,540,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,000
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $202,600
Net Cost: $62,090

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 66 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $34,094
Total Discount: 69.4 percent
Harvard Business School
No. 10: University of Notre Dame
No. 10: University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 29 percent
Median Pay: $90,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,513,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $51,297
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent
Total Cost: $194,500
Net Cost: $94,120

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $24,637
Total Discount: 51.6 percent
University of Notre Dame
No. 11: Babson College
No. 11: Babson College
Babson Park, Mass.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Business
Applicants Admitted: 40 percent
Median Pay: $89,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,468,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,074
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 98 percent
Total Cost: $199,400
Net Cost: $93,880

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 49 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $26,236
Total Discount: 52.9 percent
Babson College
No. 12: Georgia Institute of Technology
No. 12: Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta

The Basics
School Type: Public—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 52 percent
Median Pay: $88,200
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,467,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $18,210
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 39 percent
Total Cost: $77,980
Net Cost: $39,390

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 76 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $8,195
Total Discount: 49.5 percent
Georgia Instute of Technology
No. 13: Manhattan College
No. 13: Manhattan College
Bronx, N.Y.

The Basics
School Type: Private
Applicants Admitted: 63 percent
Median Pay: $87,200
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,401,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $39,778
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 83 percent
Total Cost: $150,800
Net Cost: $94,790

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 80 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $13,377
Total Discount: 37.1 percent
Manhattan College
No. 14: Columbia University
No. 14: Columbia University
New York

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 10 percent
Median Pay: $85,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,383,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $54,294
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $207,000
Net Cost: $70,030

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $33,274
Total Discount: 66.2 percent
Columbia University
No. 15: Colgate University
No. 15: Colgate University
Hamilton, N.Y.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 33 percent
Median Pay: $84,900
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,371,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,880
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent
Total Cost: $200,700
Net Cost: $62,220

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 37 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $34,046
Total Discount: 69 percent
Colgate University
No. 16: Amherst College
No. 16: Amherst College
Amherst, Mass.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 16 percent
Median Pay: $84,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,356,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $51,878
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $201,500
Net Cost: $55,800

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 50 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $35,395
Total Discount: 72.3 percent
Amherst College
No. 17: University of California, Berkeley
No. 17: University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 22 percent
Median Pay: $84,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,348,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $28,312
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 73 percent
Total Cost: $110,000
Net Cost: $58,770

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 54 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $11,913
Total Discount: 46.6 percent
University of California Berkeley
No. 18: Yale University
No. 18: Yale University
New Haven, Conn.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 7.4 percent
Median Pay: $83,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,326,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,950
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 92 percent
Total Cost: $207,000
Net Cost: $69,030

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 59 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $33,714
Total Discount: 66.7 percent
Yale University
No. 19: Lafayette College
No. 19: Lafayette College
Easton, Pa.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 42 percent
Median Pay: $83,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,306,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,289
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 96 percent
Total Cost: $193,100
Net Cost: $86,310

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $26,344
Total Discount: 55.3 percent
Lafayette College
No. 20: Clarkson University
No. 20: Clarkson University
Potsdam, N.Y.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 80 percent
Median Pay: $83,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,271,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $47,200
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 74 percent
Total Cost: $185,400
Net Cost: $98,030

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 100 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $20,310
Total Discount: 47.1 percent
Clarkson University
No. 21: College of the Holy Cross
No. 21: College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 35 percent
Median Pay: $81,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,244,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $50,942
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 98 percent
Total Cost: $192,200
Net Cost: $83,060

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $27,130
Total Discount: 56.8 percent
College of the Holy Cross
No. 22: Rice University
No. 22: Rice University
Houston

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 21 percent
Median Pay: $80,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,237,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $45,637
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 89 percent
Total Cost: $174,000
Net Cost: $68,680

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 68 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,581
Total Discount: 60.5 percent
Rice University
No. 23: Missouri University of Science and Technology
No. 23: Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, Mo.

The Basics
School Type: Public—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 91 percent
Median Pay: $80,400
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,222,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $20,446
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 40 percent
Total Cost: $84,640
Net Cost: $51,990

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 95 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $6,926
Total Discount: 38.6 percent
Missouri University of Science and Technology
No. 24: Cooper Union
No. 24: Cooper Union
New York

The Basics
School Type: Private—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 8 percent
Median Pay: $79,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,195,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,995
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 84 percent
Total Cost: $207,100
Net Cost: $67,790

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 100 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $33,504
Total Discount: 67.3 percent
Cooper Union
No. 25: Washington and Lee University
No. 25: Washington and Lee University
Lexington, Va.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 19 percent
Median Pay: $78,800
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,182,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $51,130
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 97 percent
Total Cost: $191,100
Net Cost: $69,000

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 50 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $30,277
Total Discount: 63.9 percent
Washington and Lee University
No. 26: University of California, San Diego
No. 26: University of California, San Diego
La Jolla

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 38 percent
Median Pay: $78,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,180,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $24,940
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 67 percent
Total Cost: $99,410
Net Cost: $50,890

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $11,074
Total Discount: 48.8 percent

(The original photo of the University of San Diego has been replaced.)
UC San Diego
No. 27: Johns Hopkins University
No. 27: Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 21 percent
Median Pay: $79,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,177,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,390
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $205,400
Net Cost: $98,360

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 47 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,969
Total Discount: 52.1 percent
Johns Hopkins University
No. 28: Brown University
No. 28: Brown University
Providence

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Ivy League
Applicants Admitted: 9 percent
Median Pay: $78,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,159,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,030
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 91 percent
Total Cost: $202,200
Net Cost: $83,740

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 45 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $28,860
Total Discount: 58.6 percent
Brown University
No. 29: University of Chicago
No. 29: University of Chicago
Chicago

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 19 percent
Median Pay: $78,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,134,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $54,290
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 93 percent
Total Cost: $208,900
Net Cost: $94,170

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 60 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $28,068
Total Discount: 54.9 percent
University of Chicago
No. 30: Vanderbilt University
No. 30: Vanderbilt University
Nashville

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 18 percent
Median Pay: $77,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,122,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $54,718
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 92 percent
Total Cost: $207,400
Net Cost: $77,150

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $31,857
Total Discount: 62.8 percent
Vanderbilt University
No. 31: Williams College
No. 31: Williams College
Williamstown, Mass.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 19 percent
Median Pay: $75,900
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,117,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,437
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 97 percent
Total Cost: $194,900
Net Cost: $48,520

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 52 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $36,298
Total Discount: 75.1 percent
Williams College
No. 32: Illinois Institute of Technology
No. 32: Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago

The Basics
School Type: Private Research—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 64 percent
Median Pay: $78,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,116,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $43,368
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 8 percent
Total Cost: $194,200
Net Cost: $96,440

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 99 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $19,554
Total Discount: 50.3 percent
Illinois Institute of Technology
No. 33: Michigan Technological University
No. 33: Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Mich.

The Basics
School Type: Public—Engineering
Applicants Admitted: 74 percent
Median Pay: $76,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,095,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $23,093
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 33 percent
Total Cost: $96,710
Net Cost: $61,200

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 91 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $7,440
Total Discount: 36.7 percent
Michigan Technological University
No. 34: Texas A&M University
No. 34: Texas A&M University
College Station

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 69 percent
Median Pay: $75,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,095,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $20,316
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 56 percent
Total Cost: $84,140
Net Cost: $42,750

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 53 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $9,196
Total Discount: 49.2 percent
Texas A&M University
No. 35: University of California, Los Angeles
No. 35: University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 33 percent
Median Pay: $73,700
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,037,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $26,617
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 75 percent
Total Cost: $104,300
Net Cost: $51,110

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 56 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $12,496
Total Discount: 51 percent
University of California Los Angeles
No. 36: Wesleyan University
No. 36: Wesleyan University
Middletown, Conn.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 21 percent
Median Pay: $74,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,036,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,797
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 95 percent
Total Cost: $204,800
Net Cost: $77,780

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 45 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $31,176
Total Discount: 62 percent
Wesleyan University
No. 37: Dickinson College
No. 37: Dickinson College
Carlisle, Pa.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 48 percent
Median Pay: $74,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,028,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,694
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent
Total Cost: $197,600
Net Cost: $94,870

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,310
Total Discount: 52 percent
Dickinson College
No. 38: Rutgers University
No. 38: Rutgers University
New Brunswick, N.J.

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 59 percent
Median Pay: $73,900
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,008,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $26,338
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 68 percent
Total Cost: $107,000
Net Cost: $83,530

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 94 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $5,334
Total Discount: 21.9 percent
Rutgers University
No. 39: University of California, Davis
No. 39: University of California, Davis
Davis

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 46 percent
Median Pay: $73,200
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,010,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $26,421
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 63 percent
Total Cost: $107,300
Net Cost: $57,090

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 59 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $11,323
Total Discount: 46.8 percent
University of California Davis
No. 40: University of Michigan
No. 40: University of Michigan
Ann Arbor

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 51 percent
Median Pay: $73,000
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $1,010,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $23,721
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 82 percent
Total Cost: $92,710
Net Cost: $61,200

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 71 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $7,497
Total Discount: 34 percent
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
No. 41: University of California, Santa Barbara
No. 41: University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 46 percent
Median Pay: $72,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $989,600

The Costs
Annual Cost: $27,284
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 66 percent
Total Cost: $110,100
Net Cost: $51,060

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 50 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $13,413
Total Discount: 53.6 percent
University of California Santa Barbara
No. 42: Swarthmore College
No. 42: Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pa.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 16 percent
Median Pay: $72,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $985,600

The Costs
Annual Cost: $52,265
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 92 percent
Total Cost: $200,600
Net Cost: $74,010

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 51 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $30,973
Total Discount: 63.1 percent
Swarthmore College
No. 43: University of Connecticut
No. 43: University of Connecticut
Storrs

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 54 percent
Median Pay: $71,500
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $974,100

The Costs
Annual Cost: $23,546
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 78 percent
Total Cost: $90,700
Net Cost: $50,520

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 57 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $9,470
Total Discount: 44.3 percent
University of Connecticut
No. 44: St. Mary's College of California
No. 44: St. Mary's College of California
Moraga

The Basics
School Type: Private
Applicants Admitted: 78 percent
Median Pay: $72,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $971,200

The Costs
Annual Cost: $50,404
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 86 percent
Total Cost: $196,600
Net Cost: $88,720

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 71 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,865
Total Discount: 54.9 percent
Saint Marys College of California
No. 45: University of San Francisco
No. 45: University of San Francisco
San Francisco

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 68 percent
Median Pay: $72,900
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $969,100

The Costs
Annual Cost: $50,710
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 70 percent
Total Cost: $203,400
Net Cost: $93,540

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 61 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $25,209
Total Discount: 54 percent
University of San Francisco
No. 46: Pepperdine University
No. 46: Pepperdine University
Malibu, Calif.

The Basics
School Type: Private Research
Applicants Admitted: 31 percent
Median Pay: $71,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $944,400

The Costs
Annual Cost: $51,450
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $199,800
Net Cost: $88,100

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 68 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $27,154
Total Discount: 55.9 percent
No. 47: Gettysburg College
No. 47: Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, Pa.

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 40 percent
Median Pay: $71,600
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $935,700

The Costs
Annual Cost: $49,500
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 95 percent
Total Cost: $188,100
Net Cost: $97,710

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 68 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $22,263
Total Discount: 48.1 percent
Gettysburg College
No. 48: Providence College
No. 48: Providence College
Providence

The Basics
School Type: Private
Applicants Admitted: 67 percent
Median Pay: $71,300
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $925,800

The Costs
Annual Cost: $46,180
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 95 percent
Total Cost: $172,400
Net Cost: $98,470

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 61 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $18,231
Total Discount: 42.9 percent
Providence College
No. 49: Trinity College
No. 49: Trinity College
Hartford

The Basics
School Type: Private—Liberal Arts
Applicants Admitted: 43 percent
Median Pay: $70,000
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $922,000

The Costs
Annual Cost: $53,525
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 90 percent
Total Cost: $203,500
Net Cost: $61,090

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 41 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $34,588
Total Discount: 70 percent
Trinity College
No. 50: Clemson University
No. 50: Clemson University
Clemson, S.C.

The Basics
School Type: Public
Applicants Admitted: 64 percent
Median Pay: $70,100
30-Year Net Return on Investment for Graduates: $921,900

The Costs
Annual Cost: $23,478
Four-Year Graduation Rate: 65 percent
Total Cost: $94,890
Net Cost: $55,210

The Aid
Undergraduates Receiving Aid: 90 percent
Average Annual Aid Package: $9,065
Total Discount: 41.8 percent
Clemson University