25 public colleges that are worth the money

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These public colleges offer the best value

When choosing where to go to college, cost of tuition and future job prospects are two important factors to consider.

And while many expensive institutions are worth the investment — it's crucial to do what's right for you, after all — going to an in-state school usually guarantees that you're saving money right off the bat. Especially if that school often proves its value by leading to high-paying careers later on.

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 narrowed down the list to public institutions, focusing only on in-state tuition costs.

Though no one can guarantee that attending any particular school will result in the same ROI, here are 25 schools that give you a good shot.

Binghamton, New York
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 25. SUNY Binghamton University

20-year net ROI: $563,000
Total cost for four years: $92,800
Average loan amount: $27,800

24. Oregon Institute of Technology

20-year net ROI: $566,000
Total cost for four years: $86,400
Average loan amount: $24,700

23. University of Massachusetts at Lowell

20-year net ROI: $568,000
Total cost for four years: $104,000
Average loan amount: $28,500

22. Texas A&M University

20-year net ROI: $569,000
Total cost for four years: $89,700
Average loan amount: $24,100

Texas A&M fans
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21. San Jose State University

20-year net ROI: $576,00
Total cost for four years: $99,200
Average loan amount: $21,900

20. Virginia Polytechnic and State University

20-year net ROI: $582,000
Total cost for four years: $102,000
Average loan amount: $32,400

19. University of Washington at Bothell

20-year net ROI: $583,000
Total cost for four years: $109,000
Average loan amount: $20,600

17. TIE: University of Virginia

20-year net ROI: $601,000
Total cost for four years: $108,000
Average loan amount: $29,300

University of Virginia
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17. TIE: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

20-year net ROI: $601,000
Total cost for four years: $76,000
Average loan amount: $19,600

16. Montana Tech

20-year net ROI: $612,000
Total cost for four years: $75,700
Average loan amount: $22,400

15. University of California at San Diego

20-year net ROI: $623,000
Total cost for four years: $123,000
Average loan amount: $22,600

14. Michigan Technological University

20-year net ROI: $625,000
Total cost for four years: $107,000
Average loan amount: $29,300

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13. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

20-year net ROI: $653,000
Total cost for four years: $89,700
Average loan amount: $29,200

12. Virginia Military Institute

20-year net ROI: $660,000
Total cost for four years: $106,000
Average loan amount: $29,500

11. California Polytechnic State University

20-year net ROI: $678,000
Total cost for four years: $98,300
Average loan amount: $23,400

10. New Jersey Institute of Technology

20-year net ROI: $688,000
Total cost for four years: $131,000
Average loan amount: $31,900

Michael Jung | Getty Images

9. Missouri University of Science and Technology

20-year net ROI: $713,000
Total cost for four years: $87,400
Average loan amount: $27,500

8. Maine Maritime Academy

20-year net ROI: $725,000
Total cost for four years: $100,000
Average loan amount: $43,200

7. University of California at Berkeley

20-year net ROI: $732,000
Total cost for four years: $136,000
Average loan amount: $23,300

6. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

20-year net ROI: $773,000
Total cost for four years: $89,900
Average loan amount: $

Georgia Tech

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

20-year net ROI: $824,000
Total cost for four years: $96,200
Average loan amount: $31,700

4. California State University, Maritime

20-year net ROI: $826,000
Total cost for four years: $87,500
Average loan amount: $30,600

3. Colorado School of Mines

20-year net ROI: $883,000
Total cost for four years: $123,000
Average loan amount: $33,400

2. SUNY Maritime College

20-year net ROI: $895,000
Total cost for four years: $92,300
Average loan amount: $32,000

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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