Money

25 colleges that are worth the money

Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.
Boston Globe | Contributor | Getty Images
Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.

Where you go to college isn't just an investment in the next four years, it's an investment in the rest of your life.

And although price certainly isn't the only factor to consider when deciding where to attend, it doesn't hurt to go to a school that's a good value.

Payscale's annual College ROI Report determines the return on investment for schools across the U.S. by subtracting the cost of attendance from graduates' 20-year pay.

For the report, Payscale draws its data from the approximately 1.3 million college-educated workers who successfully completed PayScale's Employee Survey over the last 10 years. Read a complete breakdown of the methodology here.

For this list, CNBC included schools based on the cost of out-of-state tuition, where applicable.

Though we can't guarantee that attending any particular school will result in the same ROI, here are 25 schools that give you a good shot.

Baker Hall stands on the campus of Dartmouth College, the smallest school in the Ivy League, in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Cheryl Senter/Bloomberg | Getty Images
Baker Hall stands on the campus of Dartmouth College, the smallest school in the Ivy League, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

25. Dartmouth College

20 year net ROI: $650,000
Total cost for four years: $257,000
Average loan amount: $23,200

24. Capitol College

20 year net ROI: $653,000
Total cost for four years: $135,000
Average loan amount: $37,000

23. Missouri University of Science and Technology

20 year net ROI: $654,000
Total cost for four years: $147,000
Average loan amount: $27,500

22. University of Pennsylvania

20 year net ROI: $673,000
Total cost for four years: $252,000
Average loan amount: $25,400

21. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

20 year net ROI: $676,000
Total cost for four years: $252,000
Average loan amount: $42,800

Carnegie Mellon University
Zolashine | Getty Images
Carnegie Mellon University

20. Carnegie Mellon University

20 year net ROI: $678,000
Total cost for four years: $251,000
Average loan amount: $31,500

19. Maine Maritime Academy

20 year net ROI: $680,000
Total cost for four years: $145,000
Average loan amount: $43,200

18. Harvard University

20 year net ROI: $700,000
Total cost for four years: $244,000
Average loan amount: $20,300

17. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

20 year net ROI: $712,000
Total cost for four years :$244,00
Average loan amount: $32,000

16. Babson College

20 year net ROI: $726,000
Total cost for four years: $246,000
Average loan amount: $30,000

Hatfield Hall and the Flame of the Millennium statue are shown at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.
Yipdw | Wikimedia Commons
Hatfield Hall and the Flame of the Millennium statue are shown at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

15. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $738,000
Total cost for four years: $232,000
Average loan amount: $45,500

14. Kettering University

20 year net ROI: $743,000
Total cost for four years: $208,000
Average loan amount: $41,700

13. Georgia Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $746,000
Total cost for four years: $174,000
Average loan amount: $31,700

12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

20 year net ROI: $752,000
Total cost for four years: $235,000
Average loan amount: $43,000

11. Stanford University

20 year net ROI: $761,000
Total cost for four years: $247,000
Average loan amount: $29,100

Students walking to classes at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Barry Winiker | Getty Images
Students walking to classes at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

10. Princeton University

20 year net ROI: $764,000
Total cost for four years: $231,000
Average loan amount: $14,100

9. California State University, Maritime

20 year net ROI: $781,000
Total cost for four years: $133,000
Average loan amount: $30,600

8. Stevens Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $800,000
Total cost for four years: $244,000
Average loan amount: $45,800

7. Colorado School of Mines

20 year net ROI: $818,000
Total cost for four years: $188,000
Average loan amount: $33,400

6. Webb Institute

20 year net ROI: $854,000
Total cost for four years: $209,000
Average loan amount: $25,200

The SUNY system administration building
demerzel21 | Getty Images
The SUNY system administration building

5. SUNY, Maritime College

20 year net ROI: $857,000
Total cost for four years: $130,000
Average loan amount: $32,000

4. California Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $864,000
Total cost for four years: $240,000
Average loan amount: $19,000

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

20 year net ROI: $959,000
Total cost for four years: $240,000
Average loan amount: $32,200

2. Harvey Mudd College

20 year net ROI: $962,000
Total cost for four years: $260,000
Average loan amount: $24,400

1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

20 year net ROI: $1,056,000
Total cost for four years: $33,100
Average loan amount: $12,300

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