Grads of this college nab a starting salary of $80,000 — plus more best value schools

Key Points
  • At the Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus, tuition is around $12,000, while its grads earn an average starting salary of more than $65,000.
  • Meanwhile, Stanford's tuition is more than $46,000, but average scholarships and grants cover that bill.
  • A new report determines the best value colleges.
Harvey Tsoi | Getty Images

Usually an item's price tag offers a pretty clear picture of what you'll pay and what you'll get.

With college, it's more complicated. The cost to attend only tells part of the story. Prospective students need to take into consideration other financial figures.

A new report by financial technology company SmartAsset determined which colleges offer the "best value," by doing just that: Analyzing factors like grads' average starting salary as well as the average total grants and scholarships awarded.

"People see the sticker price and that's automatically what they're comparing," said AJ Smith, vice president of financial education at SmartAsset. "If you're turned off by that number and you cross it off the list, you might be missing out on a great opportunity."

Here are the schools that are the best deals, according to the report.

1)  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yiming Chen | Getty Images

College tuition: $46,704
Student living costs: $16,546
Average scholarships and grants: $41,674
Average starting salary for grads: $81,500

2)  California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology
Danita Delimont | Getty Images

College tuition: $45,390
Student living costs: $18,081
Average scholarships and grants: $36,632
Average starting salary for grads: $78,800

3) Stanford University

Stanford University
Al Seib | Getty Images

College tuition: $46,320
Student living costs: $18,157
Average scholarships and grants: $47,782
Average starting salary for grads: $73,300

4) Harvey Mudd College

Students and others gather at Beckman Hall on the grounds of the Harvey Mudd College Campus in Pomona.
Ted Soqui | Corbis | Getty Images

College tuition: $50,649
Student living costs: $18,706
Average scholarships and grants: $33,895
Average starting salary for grads: $81,000

5) Princeton University 

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

College tuition: $43,450
Student living costs: $17,710
Average scholarships and grants: $44,128
Average starting salary for grads: $69,800

6) Harvard University

Harvard University
janniswerner | Getty Images

College tuition: $45,278
Student living costs: $19,122
Average scholarships and grants: $48,195
Average starting salary for grads: $69,200

7) Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

The Georgia Institute of Technology campus in Atlanta, Georgia.
Philip Mccollum | Bloomberg | Getty Images

College tuition: $12,204
Student living costs: $13,576
Average scholarships and grants: $12,274
Average starting salary for grads: $68,100

8) SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College
Jim Henderson | Wikimedia Commons

College tuition: $7,809
Student living costs: $16,516
Average scholarships and grants: $7,547
Average starting salary for grads: $71,600

9) Yale University 

Yale University campus, New Haven, CT
Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

College tuition: $47,600
Student living costs: $18,845
Average scholarships and grants: $48,126
Average starting salary for grads: $66,800

10) University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
pkujiahe | Getty Images

College tuition: $49,536
Student living costs: $17,264
Average scholarships and grants: $43,856
Average starting salary for grads: $68,100

More from College Game Plan:
Tricks to pick a college that won't break the bank
Hey grads, it's time to start repaying that college debt
Skip the college degree and the debt