Earning a college degree can be expensive. The average cost of one year at a public university for in-state students is more than $20,000, College Board estimates. For out-of-state students, it's $34,000. More than 44 million students have taken out loans to pay those costs, and their debts total $1.4 trillion.
A study from Student Loan Hero that reveals the state-by-state return on investment of a college degree five years after graduation offers good advice for recouping your investments: Be strategic about where you choose to live.
For instance, try Wyoming. Avoid Vermont.
SLH's study uses state wage data and data from the U.S. Census Bureau to find the average pay increase that comes with a bachelor's degree. It then compares that pay increase with the average cost of college to estimate the ROI in each state.
In Wyoming, the average graduate can triple their initial investment in a college degree within five years of graduating, according to the study. In the top ten states overall, graduates can recoup the cost of their degrees in 2.6 years or less.