Best Return on Investment Colleges

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When deciding which college to attend, there are many things to consider, but many students find the most important one to be price. Just like there are jobs that pay a lot and others that pay a little, there are also schools that cost a lot to attend and schools that cost much less. One thing to keep in mind is that many students graduate in debt no matter which school they attend; however, paying back your college debt shouldn’t be a problem if your degree gets you a good job that pays well. Therefore, getting a good education wouldn’t mean a thing without a good return on investment (ROI).

A school doesn’t have to be inexpensive to provide a solid ROI to its graduates. There are many factors that go into determining the average ROI from any particular school. Some of the factors we have taken into account include the average net cost of tuition and the average graduate’s salary. The following 55 colleges passed muster, with high average ROIs.

1

United States Naval Academy

Founded in 1845, the United States Naval Academy is a public institution based east of Washington in Annapolis, Maryland. Of the five federal service academies, it is the second oldest. Over 4,000 undergraduate students are enrolled as officers in training. The US Navy fully funds tuition for students who join the service after graduation in return for their education, which makes the return on investment from this university one of the best in the US. And, with an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a career waiting for you when you graduate, this school has plenty going for it.

  • Average Net Price: $0
  • Average Salary: $112,000
  • Pure ROI: $1,120,000
  • Net ROI: $749,760
  • Pure ROI %: NA
  • Net ROI %: NA
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
2

United States Air Force Academy

The USAFA is located just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This military academy caters specifically to cadets in the US Air Force and it’s the newest of the service academies available in the US. Graduates of the academy are awarded bachelor’s degrees in anything from biochemistry or business to English and Literature, legal studies, statistics, or liberal arts and sciences. They are also considered second lieutenants in the United States Air Force upon graduation and are required to serve a certain number of years. Admission to the program is competitive, but with the Air Force paying room and board and full tuition for all students, the 8:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and the variety of degrees available; it’s definitely worth considering.

  • Average Net Price: $0
  • Average Salary: $110,000
  • Pure ROI: $1,100,000
  • Net ROI: $729,760
  • Pure ROI %: NA
  • Net ROI %: NA
  • Graduation Rate: NA
  • Retention Rate: 95%
3

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

ACPHS is a private college with a couple of campuses in New England. These are located in Albany, New York and Colchester, Vermont. Available programs include biological and biomedical sciences, various health professions (cytotechnologist, pharmaceutical sciences, etc.), and physical sciences at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Their student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1 and their outcomes are some of the highest in the US. The College Scorecard found that in 2018 the median salary of ACPHS graduates 10 years after entering college was $124,700; the 2nd highest among all schools in their database. This is an excellent ROI indicator.

  • Average Net Price: $119,208
  • Average Salary: $115,000
  • Pure ROI: $1,030,792
  • Net ROI: $660,552
  • Pure ROI %: 965%
  • Net ROI %: 654%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Founded in 1861, MIT is a private research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has a main campus alongside the Charles River and several other facilities nearby such as the Bates Center, the Haystack Observatory, and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The school provides programs from bachelor’s through the doctorate level, though less than half its students are undergraduates. It’s student-to-faculty ratio is a shocking 3:1, in part because so many of its classes contain fewer than 20 students. The school also boasts very high retention and graduation rates, which adds significantly to its expected ROI.

  • Average Net Price: $75,884
  • Average Salary: $109,000
  • Pure ROI: $1,014,116
  • Net ROI: $643,876
  • Pure ROI %: 1436%
  • Net ROI %: 949%
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Retention Rate: 99%
5

United States Military Academy

Better known as West Point, USMA in West Point, New York is a federal service academy. It’s one of five service academies in the US. The school sits at the edge of the town of West Point, overlooking the Hudson River; a location chosen for its original use as a fort. Acceptance into the academy requires not only that you apply, but also that you receive a nomination from a state senator or representative, making this one of the more difficult schools to gain entrance to. However, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 and a variety of bachelor’s degrees to be earned, the effort you put in will be well worth what you get out of it.

  • Average Net Price: $0
  • Average Salary: $99,000
  • Pure ROI: $990,000
  • Net ROI: $619,760
  • Pure ROI %: NA
  • Net ROI %: NA
  • Graduation Rate: 85%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
6

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a private, not-for-profit university in Pasadena, California that provides bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees; though less than half its students are undergraduates. As a research school, their doctorate students have access to plenty of hands-on experience. It is popular for its strength in science and engineering and often ranked as one of the top ten universities worldwide. It’s low student-to-faculty ratio and high retention rate make this an excellent choice if you’re looking for an education in the sciences.

  • Average Net Price: $105,444
  • Average Salary: $109,000
  • Pure ROI: $984,556
  • Net ROI: $614,316
  • Pure ROI %: 1034%
  • Net ROI %: 683%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
7

Stanford University

Stanford University is a private, not-for-profit, research university in California that ranks as one of the top ten universities in the world. The school was founded in 1885 and admitted its first students in 1891. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as postgraduate certificates in cultural, biomedical, education, philosophy, the sciences, visual and performing arts, and more. Its low student-to-faculty ratio and nearly 100% degree receiving rate is just part of what makes this college and excellent choice for anyone.

  • Average Net Price: $69,084
  • Average Salary: $104,000
  • Pure ROI: $970,916
  • Net ROI: $600,676
  • Pure ROI %: 1505%
  • Net ROI %: 969%
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Retention Rate: 99%
8

Harvey Mudd College

HMC is a private, undergraduate college located in Claremont, California. It is one of the contiguous Claremont Colleges that all share adjacent campus grounds. While there aren’t a huge selection of degrees available (you can only receive a bachelor’s through this institution), the low student-to-faculty ratio (8:1) and remarkably high graduation and retention rates (92%+) make this an excellent choice if they are offering a degree you’re interested in including Computer Science, Legal Studies, Economics, Politics, and more.

  • Average Net Price: $155,072
  • Average Salary: $103,000
  • Pure ROI: $874,928
  • Net ROI: $504,688
  • Pure ROI %: 664%
  • Net ROI %: 425%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
9

Carnegie Mellon University

CMU is a private research university located near Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally founded as the Carnegie Technical School, it’s gone through several shifts before arriving at its current moniker. The school has more than a dozen locations on six continents and its Pittsburg location offers over 100 majors at degree levels from bachelor’s to doctorate, as well as postgraduate certificates. The application process is competitive, so consider sending yours in early if you’re interested in attending this school.

  • Average Net Price: $123,388
  • Average Salary: $96,000
  • Pure ROI: $836,612
  • Net ROI: $466,372
  • Pure ROI %: 778%
  • Net ROI %: 478%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
10

Princeton University

Princeton University is a private, not-for-profit, research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746, Princeton is also an Ivy League school and the fourth-oldest university in the US. With an excellent student-to-faculty ratio of 5:1, students can earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a historical, quality learning environment that sits about 1.5 hours from New York City.

  • Average Net Price: $64,768
  • Average Salary: $89,000
  • Pure ROI: $825,232
  • Net ROI: $454,992
  • Pure ROI %: 1374%
  • Net ROI %: 802%
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
11

Capitol Technology University

Originally founded as Capitol Radio Engineering Institute, CTU is a private, not-for-profit university in Laurel, Maryland, right between D.C. and Baltimore. It has an engineering focus and provides programs in computer and information science, engineering, business and management, and other engineering-related fields. Students can earn degrees across the full spectrum from associate degrees to doctorates and even undergrad and postgrad certificates to support the skills they’ve learned. The student-to-faculty ratio is solid at 12:1, though the retention rate may reflect the difficulty of completing an engineering program as it sits at 72%.

  • Average Net Price: $87,264
  • Average Salary: $91,000
  • Pure ROI: $822,736
  • Net ROI: $452,496
  • Pure ROI %: 1043%
  • Net ROI %: 619%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Retention Rate: 72%
12

Harvard University

Harvard University is another Ivy League institution. It’s located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a not-for-profit, research focused school. Harvard is very popular and competitive when it comes to admissions; only 5% of applicants were admitted in the 2018-19 school year. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the US, having been founded in 1636. It’s reputation is upheld by it’s 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio despite it’s larger student body of 31,500+. It’s retention and graduation rates are also impressive at 99% and 98% respectively.

  • Average Net Price: $70,360
  • Average Salary: $89,000
  • Pure ROI: $819,640
  • Net ROI: $449,400
  • Pure ROI %: 1265%
  • Net ROI %: 739%
  • Graduation Rate: 98%
  • Retention Rate: 99%
13

SUNY Maritime College

Founded in 1874, SUNY Maritime College is a public, 4-year college. It’s located in Throggs Neck, New York City and is a part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System. Maritime College is one of seven maritime academies in the US that grants degrees. Because of its maritime focus, the degrees you’ll be able to earn here include various kinds of engineering, business and marketing, atmospheric science, transportation, etc. Students can earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree as well as postgraduate certificates.

  • Average Net Price: $70,232
  • Average Salary: $87,000
  • Pure ROI: $799,768
  • Net ROI: $429,528
  • Pure ROI %: 1239%
  • Net ROI %: 712%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Retention Rate: 86%
14

University of California-Berkeley

Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is a public research institution in Berkeley, California and the flagship campus for the University of California System. Of it’s 42,000+ students, over 30,000 are undergraduates earning bachelor’s degrees. Their graduate students earn master’s and doctorates and their retention rates are quite high, sitting at 97%. With over 100 majors available in both humanities and the sciences, it’s definitely a good option no matter what career you’re looking to enter.

  • Average Net Price: $71,448
  • Average Salary: $85,000
  • Pure ROI: $778,552
  • Net ROI: $408,312
  • Pure ROI %: 1190%
  • Net ROI %: 671%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
15

Yale University

Founded in 1701 to teach Congregational ministers, Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is the third-oldest university of higher education in the US. More than 13,000 students enjoy small class sizes with the 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio and access to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Their degree offerings cover humanities and sciences in architecture, mathematics, philosophy, physical sciences, theology, performing arts, and much more.

  • Average Net Price: $74,992
  • Average Salary: $85,000
  • Pure ROI: $775,008
  • Net ROI: $404,768
  • Pure ROI %: 1133%
  • Net ROI %: 640%
  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Retention Rate: 99%
16

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech is a 4-year, public institute of technology located in Atlanta, Georgia. Their 32,000+ students include about an even number of undergrads and grad students. They earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a variety of majors from architecture to the visual and performing arts. Class sizes are larger than some of the other universities on this list with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1.

  • Average Net Price: $67,800
  • Average Salary: $83,000
  • Pure ROI: $762,200
  • Net ROI: $391,960
  • Pure ROI %: 1224%
  • Net ROI %: 678%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
17

San Jose State University

SJSU is a public university located in downtown San Jose, California. It’s the West Coast’s oldest public university and a part of the California State University System. The student-to-faculty ratio is high, at 26:1, but the retention rate is solid at 83% for full-time students and 77% for part-time students. There degree offerings include bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates with postgraduate certificates available as well.

  • Average Net Price: $58,076
  • Average Salary: $82,000
  • Pure ROI: $761,924
  • Net ROI: $391,684
  • Pure ROI %: 1412%
  • Net ROI %: 774%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Retention Rate: 83%
18

Maine Maritime Academy

Founded in 1941, the Maine Maritime Academy is a 4-year, public college in Castine, Maine. Students who graduate are under no obligation to join the military after graduation, though you can earn a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. The school offers associate degrees, bachelor’s, and doctorates to their student body, who number at just below 1,000. The student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1 and the retention rate is 84%.

  • Average Net Price: $83,500
  • Average Salary: $84,000
  • Pure ROI: $756,500
  • Net ROI: $386,260
  • Pure ROI %: 1006%
  • Net ROI %: 563%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Retention Rate: 84%
19

Dartmouth College

Though it’s called a ‘college’, Dartmouth is actually a research university and one of the New England Ivy League institutions. The school was founded in 1769 in Hanover, New Hampshire and has been called “one of the most enduring institutions”. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates to its nearly 7,000 students every year. The student-to-faculty ratio is low, as are most of the Ivy League’s and the retention and graduation rates are over 95%. No matter your educational interest, there’s something at this school for you.

  • Average Net Price: $93,576
  • Average Salary: $84,000
  • Pure ROI: $746,424
  • Net ROI: $376,184
  • Pure ROI %: 898%
  • Net ROI %: 502%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
20

Duke University

Founded in 1838 by Quakers and Methodists as Brown’s Schoolhouse, Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. The name of the school comes from electric power and tobacco industrialist, James Buchanan Duke, who founded The Duke Endowment in 1924, a trust fund which partially went to the school, prompting it to be renamed Duke University. The school has an excellent student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1 and a grand total of 16,600 students.

  • Average Net Price: $79,140
  • Average Salary: $82,000
  • Pure ROI: $740,860
  • Net ROI: $370,620
  • Pure ROI %: 1036%
  • Net ROI %: 568%
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
21

Virginia Military Institute

Founded in Lexington, Virginia in 1839, the Virginia Military Institute was the first public senior military college in the US. The VMI accepts only uniformed students, no civilians. All students must participate in the Army, Navy, or Air Force ROTC program. The school has over 1,600 students and a solid student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.

  • Average Net Price: $59,196
  • Average Salary: $80,000
  • Pure ROI: $740,804
  • Net ROI: $370,564
  • Pure ROI %: 1351%
  • Net ROI %: 726%
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Retention Rate: 89%
22

Webb Institute

This college is located in Glen Cove, New York. The only available program is for a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. However, the school is well-known for its emphasis on systems engineering, ship design, and practical work experience. The school’s student body consists of a little over 100 undergraduates, has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, and a retention rate of 100%. They must be doing something right.

  • Average Net Price: $81,244
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $728,756
  • Net ROI: $358,516
  • Pure ROI %: 997%
  • Net ROI %: 541%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Retention Rate: 100%
23

Montana Technological University

Montana Tech is located close to the edge of Butte, Montana, just a few streets away from a large open recreation area and within relatively easy driving distance of 6+ national forests and Yellowstone National Park. The school has 13 campus buildings with under 2,000 students, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. They offer associate through doctorate degrees as well as postgraduate certificates in Biology, Engineering, Health Professions, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences.

  • Average Net Price: $54,056
  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Pure ROI: $725,944
  • Net ROI: $355,704
  • Pure ROI %: 1443%
  • Net ROI %: 758%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
24

Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia is one of the Ivy League universities, located in New York City just beside the Hudson River. It is the oldest higher education institution in New York and the 5th oldest in the United States. The school has a large student body consisting of over 31,000 students, only 8,200 of which are undergraduates. However, they still manage to have an excellent student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1. Between that and the 100+ majors spanning bachelor’s through doctorate degrees and architecture, biomedical sciences, education, health professions, history, legal studies, psychology, and more; it’s no wonder that this school has such a stellar reputation. Even their retention rates are high, at 98% for full-time students and 90% for part-time students.

  • Average Net Price: $84,880
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $725,120
  • Net ROI: $354,880
  • Pure ROI %: 954%
  • Net ROI %: 518%
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
25

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri S&T is a public university that is part of the University of Missouri System. The school can be found in the small town of Rolla, Missouri. The school has nearly 9,000 students, mostly undergraduates, enrolled in degrees for business, computer sciences, engineering, counterterrorism, and mathematics. Indeed, the school is well known for its engineering program, with 22 majors in the engineering department alone. While the student-to-faculty ratio is a bit high at 18 to 1, the retention rate is solid at 83% for full-time students.

  • Average Net Price: $55,976
  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Pure ROI: $724,024
  • Net ROI: $353,784
  • Pure ROI %: 1393%
  • Net ROI %: 732%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Retention Rate: 83%
26

New Jersey Institute of Technology

NJIT is a research university. Located in Newark, New Jersey, it opened under the name Newark Technical School in 1885 with just 88 students. Many years later, they now have nearly 11,500 students, 8,500 of which are undergraduates. They also run 5 colleges focusing on engineering, science and liberal arts, architecture and design, computing sciences, and a school of management. Through these platforms, they offer nearly 60 majors and boast a retention rate of 88%. Their student-to-faculty ratio is a bit high at 17:1, but at least you’ll never want for new things to do so close to New York City.

  • Average Net Price: $71,420
  • Average Salary: $79,000
  • Pure ROI: $718,580
  • Net ROI: $348,340
  • Pure ROI %: 1106%
  • Net ROI %: 588%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Retention Rate: 88%
27

William Marsh Rice University

Rice University is a private research school that can be found near Downtown Houston, Texas. It’s in the museum district and quite close to the Houston Zoo. The school offers around 75 degrees in 22 different categories to its 7,000+ students. These degrees span from the bachelor’s level to doctorates. Though the campus is set in the middle of a large city, its classes are anything but impersonal; with a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, students never lack for teacher attention. And their retention rate is fantastic, sitting at a high of 97% for full-time students.

  • Average Net Price: $92,808
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $717,192
  • Net ROI: $346,952
  • Pure ROI %: 873%
  • Net ROI %: 474%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
28

Cornell University

Cornell is a private research university. It was originally founded with the plan to offer a wide variety of teaching to all kinds of students. Far away from the New York City bustle, in Ithaca, the school does just that. Degrees are available at all levels, from bachelor’s to doctorates and even some postgraduate certificates. Majors are available in 27 separate categories and include options in agriculture, biological and biomedical sciences, education, foreign languages and linguistics, history, natural resources and conservation, and the visual and performing arts. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and nearly 24,000 students, they appear to have reached their founder’s dream of “found[ing] an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

  • Average Net Price: $115,560
  • Average Salary: $83,000
  • Pure ROI: $714,440
  • Net ROI: $344,200
  • Pure ROI %: 718%
  • Net ROI %: 398%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
29

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

RPI is a private university located in the small city of Troy, New York, close to the Hudson River. It also has additional campuses in Groton and Hartford, Connecticut. The school offers nearly 70 different majors, mostly focusing on the sciences, with over 15 engineering majors available along with majors in computer science, biomedical sciences, 5+ physical sciences majors, and the social sciences. Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees are available to the school’s nearly 8,000 students, with a solid student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 and an excellent 92% retention rate for full-time students.

  • Average Net Price: $157,232
  • Average Salary: $87,000
  • Pure ROI: $712,768
  • Net ROI: $342,528
  • Pure ROI %: 553%
  • Net ROI %: 318%
  • Graduation Rate: 86%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
30

Michigan Technological University

MTU is a public research school in Houghton, Michigan. The school is located on an inlet connected Lake Superior to the smaller Portage Lake. Originally founded to train mine engineers, they still have over 15 engineering majors as well as programs in biomedical sciences, business and management, computer information sciences, natural resource conservation, and public administration among others. They offer degrees from associate level through doctorates to their 7,000+ students, most of whom are undergraduates and offer a solid student-to-teacher ratio, at 13 to 1.

  • Average Net Price: $68,700
  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Pure ROI: $711,300
  • Net ROI: $341,060
  • Pure ROI %: 1135%
  • Net ROI %: 596%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Retention Rate: 84%
31

Stevens Institute of Technology

Established in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology is one of America’s oldest technological universities. It is located in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees as well as postgraduate certificates. It’s nearly 7,000 students enjoy a choice of nearly 70 majors across this spectrum and a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1.

  • Average Net Price: $159,448
  • Average Salary: $87,000
  • Pure ROI: $710,552
  • Net ROI: $340,312
  • Pure ROI %: 546%
  • Net ROI %: 313%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
32

University of Pennsylvania

UPenn is a private, Ivy League research institute located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, it was the first higher learning institution in the US to call itself a university. Students attending it’s downtown Philadelphia campus have degree options in architecture, ethnic studies, business and marketing, computer sciences, education, engineering, many options in health professions, legal studies, physical sciences, psychology, social studies, and the performing arts. These are available from associate degrees to doctorates. The students body itself is comprised of nearly 26,000, about 11,800 of which are undergraduates. And they enjoy a very low student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 and a retention rate of 98%.

  • Average Net Price: $105,064
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $704,936
  • Net ROI: $334,696
  • Pure ROI %: 771%
  • Net ROI %: 419%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
33

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a private university located in Santa Clara, California and associated with the Jesuits. Though officially within Santa Clara, the school sits very close to San Jose, just south of the San Francisco Bay, surrounded by nearby state parks, beachfront, and city and state parks. The school’s 8,600+ students earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in subjects such as ethnic and women’s studies, accounting, information technology, engineering, law, environmental studies, anthropology, political science, and drama. Just 5,500 of those students are undergraduates, while the rest earn their graduate degrees. All students enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of just 10 to 1 and a retention rate at 95%.

  • Average Net Price: $166,180
  • Average Salary: $87,000
  • Pure ROI: $703,820
  • Net ROI: $333,580
  • Pure ROI %: 524%
  • Net ROI %: 301%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
34

Lehigh University

Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a small city about an hour and a half North of Philadelphia. The school has 6,800+ students, about 5,000 of which are undergraduates. Despite it’s lower number of graduate students, it provides master’s and doctorate degrees along with it’s bachelor’s programs. There are also several opportunities for postgraduate certificates. The school has four colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, The College of Education, and The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. As a whole, the institution has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1 and a retention rate of 94%.

  • Average Net Price: $107,128
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $702,872
  • Net ROI: $332,632
  • Pure ROI %: 756%
  • Net ROI %: 410%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
35

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly is a public university located in a small suburb on the outskirts of the city of San Luis Obispo, California. The school includes six colleges including colleges of agriculture, food and environmental sciences; architecture and environmental design, business, engineering, liberal arts, and science and mathematics. There are over 22,000 students enrolled, almost all of which are undergraduates enrolled in more than 90 majors offered. And, while the student-to-faculty ratio is somewhat high at 21:1, the retention rate is in the 90s, so the students don’t seem to mind too much.

  • Average Net Price: $80,144
  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Pure ROI: $699,856
  • Net ROI: $329,616
  • Pure ROI %: 973%
  • Net ROI %: 511%
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
36

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Established in 1891, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a public college located in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. And, while that sounds like the perfect location for a pirate school, this institution offers programs in international business, naval architecture, homeland security and law enforcement, environmental science, and marine science/merchant marine officer. It’s not required, but some graduates spend time in active service in the Armed Forces after completing a degree. The school has a relatively high student-to-faculty ratio (16:1) considering its low students population of about 1,800. It’s retention rate is solid at 86%.

  • Average Net Price: $61,160
  • Average Salary: $76,000
  • Pure ROI: $698,840
  • Net ROI: $328,600
  • Pure ROI %: 1243%
  • Net ROI %: 637%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Retention Rate: 86%
37

University of Alabama-Huntsville

UAH is a public university located in the midsize city of Huntsville, Alabama. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and awards bachelor’s, master's, and doctorate degrees. These degrees are provided in majors such as biotechnology, information resource management, computer and information sciences, education, various engineering disciplines, nursing practice, psychology, and public administration, among many others. The university has nearly 10,000 students enrolled, 7,500 of which are undergraduates. They also have a somewhat high student-to-faculty ratio at 17 to 1 and a solid retention rate at 83%.

  • Average Net Price: $61,748
  • Average Salary: $75,000
  • Pure ROI: $688,252
  • Net ROI: $318,012
  • Pure ROI %: 1215%
  • Net ROI %: 615%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Retention Rate: 83%
38

Brown University

Founded in 1764, Brown University is a private Ivy League university located downtown in the city of Providence, Rhode Island. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in over 100 majors ranging from architecture; education; and foreign languages, literature, and linguistics to health professions, physical sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. Across the whole spectrum, the school’s 10,000+ students enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1. Their retention and graduation rates are also impressive at 98% and 95% respectively.

  • Average Net Price: $108,952
  • Average Salary: $79,000
  • Pure ROI: $681,048
  • Net ROI: $310,808
  • Pure ROI %: 725%
  • Net ROI %: 385%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
39

Colorado School of Mines

Mines, as it’s called colloquially in Golden, Colorado, is a public university. With most of its majors falling under the categories of engineering, physical, and social sciences; it’s not surprising to learn that the school is focused on applied science and engineering. With their location near hundreds of acres of national park land, it’s no surprise to find that they’ve expanded that into conservation and development of natural resources. Their 6,000+ students earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in classrooms with a 15 to 1 students-to-faculty ratio. Their retention and graduation rates are 92% and 80% respectively.

  • Average Net Price: $103,068
  • Average Salary: $78,000
  • Pure ROI: $676,932
  • Net ROI: $306,692
  • Pure ROI %: 757%
  • Net ROI %: 398%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
40

University of Colorado-Boulder

Founded in 1876, CU Boulder is a public University in Boulder, Colorado and the flagship University of the University of Colorado system. Their bike-friendly campus holds nearly 37,000 students. 30,000 of these are undergraduates, earning bachelor’s degrees, while the rest earn master’s and doctorates. With over 100 majors available, it’s no surprise the school is able to attract so many students. Still, they manage to maintain an alright student-to-faculty ratio, which sits at around 18:1 and a solid 88% retention rate.

  • Average Net Price: $85,864
  • Average Salary: $76,000
  • Pure ROI: $674,136
  • Net ROI: $303,896
  • Pure ROI %: 885%
  • Net ROI %: 454%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Retention Rate: 88%
41

Kettering University

Kettering University is a private, experiential and cooperative learning-based educational university located in Flint, Michigan, Northwest of Detroit. The school offers bachelor's master’s in biological and biomedical science, business, management and marketing, computer science, engineering, health professions, mathematics and statistics, and physical sciences. In 2017, the University was ranked 13 in the 'Best Colleges' edition of U.S. News and World Report. Despite a relatively small student body of less than 2,500, the student-to-faculty ratio is a bit high at 15:1. However, the retention rate is excellent, sitting at 91%.

  • Average Net Price: $156,144
  • Average Salary: $83,000
  • Pure ROI: $673,856
  • Net ROI: $303,616
  • Pure ROI %: 532%
  • Net ROI %: 294%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Retention Rate: 91%
42

University of Alaska-Fairbanks

UAF is a public institution located in College, Alaska and it’s a flagship campus with the University of Alaska system. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in 120+ majors. They also offer several undergraduate and postgraduate certificates for those looking to expand or continue their education. The majority of their over 7,000 student body members are undergraduate students. All students enjoy a relatively low student-to-faculty ratio that sits at 11 to 1, though the retention rate is a little low at 73%. This may be due to the nature of the school being located in a small town in the middle of Alaska. Students may leave toward the end of their academic career in order to have greater access to job opportunities after finishing school.

  • Average Net Price: $41,832
  • Average Salary: $71,000
  • Pure ROI: $668,168
  • Net ROI: $297,928
  • Pure ROI %: 1697%
  • Net ROI %: 812%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
43

Milwaukee School of Engineering

MSOE is a private university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the edge of Lake Michigan. It has a relatively small campus, covering only 22 acres despite being in Downtown Milwaukee. However, the campus serves it’s nearly 3,000 students well with its 30+ majors offered as bachelor’s or master’s degrees, as well as the option to earn undergraduate or postgraduate certificates in some of those same fields. As you might expect, they have a strong focus on engineering, with 15 of their majors focused in that field. Their student-to-faculty ratio and retention rate are both solid at 15:1 and 87% respectively.

  • Average Net Price: $97,348
  • Average Salary: $76,000
  • Pure ROI: $662,652
  • Net ROI: $292,412
  • Pure ROI %: 781%
  • Net ROI %: 400%
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Retention Rate: 87%
44

North Carolina State University-Raleigh

NCSU is a public research institution located in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. The school is a part of the Research Triangle made up of this campus, The University of North Carolina, and Duke University. Fittingly, at least half of the school’s 140+ majors are devoted to the sciences and education. These majors are offered as associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. The student body includes over 35,000 members, 25,000+ of which are undergraduates. Even with such a large student body, they still maintain relatively small classes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1.

  • Average Net Price: $59,084
  • Average Salary: $72,000
  • Pure ROI: $660,916
  • Net ROI: $290,676
  • Pure ROI %: 1219%
  • Net ROI %: 592%
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
45

Georgetown University

Originally founded as a college, Georgetown University is a private institution located on a hill just North of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The university now includes ten schools including a law school, medical school, school of business, school of foreign service, and more. The campus in D.C. has 19,000+ students who enjoy small classes with an 11 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. They earn degrees ranging from bachelor’s to doctorates and can also earn undergraduate and postgraduate certificates from the same location. Degrees available include over 120 majors and range from architecture, gender studies, and foreign languages to engineering, physical sciences and social sciences, and legal studies. And the retention rates are shockingly high with 96% of full-time students and 100% of part-time students continuing on after they start school.

  • Average Net Price: $114,036
  • Average Salary: $77,000
  • Pure ROI: $655,964
  • Net ROI: $285,724
  • Pure ROI %: 675%
  • Net ROI %: 351%
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Retention Rate: 96%
46

Binghamton University

Binghamton University is located in New York, just North of the Pennsylvania state line and is also sometimes known as SUNY Binghamton. It’s a public institution with campuses also located in Johnson City and Vestal, New York. It’s part of the SUNY system. The college has nearly 18,000 students who earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in 120+ majors. The university is made up of 7 separate colleges covering arts and sciences, community and public affairs, engineering and applied sciences, management, nursing, and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, while also offering advanced degrees through their graduate school. Their student-to-faculty ratio is somewhat high, sitting at 19 to 1, but their retention rates are excellent, with full- and part-time student retention both over 90%.

  • Average Net Price: $65,760
  • Average Salary: $72,000
  • Pure ROI: $654,240
  • Net ROI: $284,000
  • Pure ROI %: 1095%
  • Net ROI %: 532%
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
47

Villanova University

Villanova University is a private, Catholic university located in Radnor Township, a large suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school has much to offer, with degrees ranging from associate to doctorate in 24 categories; there are 80+ majors available overall. The university isn’t huge, with a student body of around 11,000, nearly 7,000 of which are undergraduates, and they keep the class sizes comparatively small with an 11 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. Their retention rate is 96%.

  • Average Net Price: $147,832
  • Average Salary: $80,000
  • Pure ROI: $652,168
  • Net ROI: $281,928
  • Pure ROI %: 541%
  • Net ROI %: 291%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 96%
48

University of Arizona

Founded in 1885, UA is a public institution in Tucson, Arizona and it was the first university in the Arizona region. The university is made up of 19 colleges including a college of law, college of medicine, and an honors college. Though far from the Grand Canyon, Tucson is surrounded by the Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park, making for gorgeous scenery when you leave the city. And you might need to get away, with the student body including 44,000+ students, most of whom are undergraduates. Students earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in 250+ majors! Now that’s a lot of choices.

  • Average Net Price: $62,376
  • Average Salary: $71,000
  • Pure ROI: $647,624
  • Net ROI: $277,384
  • Pure ROI %: 1138%
  • Net ROI %: 545%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Retention Rate: 81%
49

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a private institution in Worcester, Massachusetts, less than two hours from Boston. As with most polytechnic institutes, the school’s focus is on research into and instruction of applied sciences and technical arts. The school’s nearly 7,000 students earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates in biological sciences, business and marketing, computer and information sciences, engineering, mathematics, physical science, psychology, social sciences, the visual and performing arts, and several interdisciplinary studies. Their classes are relatively small with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 and their retention rate is excellent, sitting at 96%.

  • Average Net Price: $175,260
  • Average Salary: $82,000
  • Pure ROI: $644,740
  • Net ROI: $274,500
  • Pure ROI %: 468%
  • Net ROI %: 257%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Retention Rate: 96%
50

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was founded in 1874, to provide technical training to engineers for railroad construction. With accreditation for their engineering programs coming from ABET, they obviously still excel in training engineers for all kinds of careers. However, the school has expanded since its first inception and now offers bachelor’s and master’s in all sorts of majors including Computer Science, Biochemistry, Industrial Management, Mathematics, International/Global Studies, Physics, and Economics. It’s still a relatively small school with around 2,150 students, 2,100 of whom are undergraduates. Their classes are small, with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and their retention rate is excellent at 92%.

  • Average Net Price: $176,252
  • Average Salary: $81,000
  • Pure ROI: $633,748
  • Net ROI: $263,508
  • Pure ROI %: 460%
  • Net ROI %: 250%
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
51

George Mason University

GMU is a public university located in Fairfax, Virginia, about an hour West of Washington D.C. It was originally founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1956, but later became the largest, independent, four-year university in Virginia. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in 50+ majors to its nearly 40,000 students. Around 26,000 of those students are undergraduates, with the rest enrolled in master’s and doctorate programs. Likely due to the large student body, the student-to-faculty ratio is somewhat high at 17 to 1, but the retention rate is still solid at 87% for full-time students.

  • Average Net Price: $76,256
  • Average Salary: $71,000
  • Pure ROI: $633,744
  • Net ROI: $263,504
  • Pure ROI %: 931%
  • Net ROI %: 446%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Retention Rate: 87%
52

Manhattan College

Manhattan College is a private, Roman Catholic school in the Bronx in New York City. The school offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and postgraduate certificates to it’s 4,000+ students. Most attending students are undergraduates. Degrees are offered over a range of 50+ majors including biology/biological sciences, finance, communication, computer science, elementary education, special education and teaching, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, several languages, mental health counseling, environmental studies, psychology, and economics, among others. Their student-to-faculty ratio sits at a solid 13:1 and their retention rate is above 80%.

  • Average Net Price: $136,572
  • Average Salary: $76,000
  • Pure ROI: $623,428
  • Net ROI: $253,188
  • Pure ROI %: 556%
  • Net ROI %: 285%
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Retention Rate: 82%
53

Babson College

Established in 1919 as an all-male business institute, Babson College is now a coeducational, private business school located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, about an hour West of Boston. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees to its 3,300 students, 2,300 of which are undergraduates. Its focus is on business and it offers few majors including accounting; business administration and management; business administration, management, and operations; and financial mathematics. The student-to-faculty ratio is about 14 to 1 and the retention rate sits at 95%.

  • Average Net Price: $118,348
  • Average Salary: $73,000
  • Pure ROI: $611,652
  • Net ROI: $241,412
  • Pure ROI %: 617%
  • Net ROI %: 304%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
54

Miami University-Oxford

Miami University might sound like it should belong in Florida, but it’s actually a public university with a campus located in Oxford, Ohio, Northwest of Cincinnati. While the school's main campus is located in Oxford, it also has regional campuses nearby in Middletown, Hamilton, and West Chester. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates to its nearly 20,000 students. 17,000+ of those students are undergraduates and they all enjoy decent class sizes due to a low student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. There are over 120 majors to choose from in categories such as architecture; area, ethnic, cultural, and gender groups; biological sciences; business, management and marketing; education; engineering; foreign languages, literatures and linguistics; health professions; natural resources and conservation; and more.

  • Average Net Price: $82,168
  • Average Salary: $68,000
  • Pure ROI: $597,832
  • Net ROI: $227,592
  • Pure ROI %: 828%
  • Net ROI %: 377%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
55

Bentley University

Bentley University is a private university with a focuses on business. It is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, less than an hour West of Boston. The university offers over 30 majors, 19 of which are focused on business, management, marketing, and related support services. The degrees they offer range from an associate to a doctorate with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees thrown in for good measure. Their 5,000+ student body consists mostly of undergraduates who enjoy their relatively small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. And their retention rate is excellent at 93%.

  • Average Net Price: $153,080
  • Average Salary: $75,000
  • Pure ROI: $596,920
  • Net ROI: $226,680
  • Pure ROI %: 490%
  • Net ROI %: 248%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Retention Rate: 93%