Money

The 25 colleges where students go on to earn the most money

MIT graduates go on to earn $94,200
Rick Friedman | Getty Images

May 1 is National College Decision Day, the deadline for high school seniors to choose which college to attend.

When it comes to deciding where you're going to study over the next four or so years, there are a lot of factors to consider, including location, class size and academic majors. But you may want to consider earning potential as well. After all, a college education is now the second-biggest expense you are likely to make in your lifetime.

To round up a list of the schools that produce the highest-earning alumni, CNBC Make It used the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard. The tool provides a variety of data on thousands of colleges, including the median earnings of federally aided students 10 years after enrolling and the average annual cost of attending.

For our ranking, we restricted the list to bachelor's degree-granting institutions and excluded special focus institutions.

Scroll down to see the colleges and universities where students go on to earn the most money. We also included the average annual cost of each school, which the U.S. Department of Education defines as "the average annual net price for federal aid recipients, after aid from the school, state, or federal government. For public schools, this is only the average cost for in-state students."

25. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Georgia Tech
Mike Comer | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $11,574

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $75,800

Read more about Georgia Tech.

24. SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College
Jim Henderson | Wikimedia Commons

Average annual cost: $19,050

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $76,700

Read more about SUNY Maritime College.

23. Lehigh University

Lehigh University
Source: Lehigh University

Average annual cost: $33,300

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,200

Read more about Lehigh.

21. Duke University (TIE)

People walk by Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Jim R. Bounds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $34,137

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,900

Read more about Duke.

21. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (TIE)

RPI
Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

Average annual cost: $34,841

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,900

Read more about RPI.

20. Columbia University

The campus of Columbia University in New York City
Getty Images

Average annual cost: $21,031

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $78,200

Read more about Columbia.

19. Kettering University

C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Center on the campus of Kettering University.
Bryan Duggan | Wikipedia

Average annual cost: $34,029

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $78,600

Read more about Kettering.

18. United States Merchant Marine Academy

Merchant marines walk to class at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, on August 01, 2016.
Yana Paskova | For The Washington Post | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $6,125

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $78,900

Read more about USMMA.

17. California State University Maritime Academy

California State University Maritime Academy
Source: California State University Maritime Academy

Average annual cost: $15,206

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,000

Read more about Cal Maritime.

16. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Jim Grey | Flickr

Average annual cost: $36,068

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,200

Read more about Rose-Hulman.

15. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Source: Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Average annual cost: $17,224

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,300

Read more about MMA.

14. Princeton University

Princeton University campus
Source: Princeton University

Average annual cost: $8,848

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $80,500

Read more about Princeton.

13. Bentley University

Bentley University
Source: Bentley University

Average annual cost: $32,713

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $80,600

Read more about Bentley.

12. DigiPen Institute of Technology

Nick Bramhall | Flickr

Average annual cost: $36,816

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $81,300

Read more about DigiPen.

11. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University
Pichaya Viwatrujirapong | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $34,857

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $81,800

Read more about Carnegie Mellon.

10. Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines
John Leyba | The Denver Post | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $24,929

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $82,100

Read more about Colorado School of Mines.

9. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
Ann Hermes | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $25,225

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $82,400

Read more about Penn.

8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $37,002

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $82,600

Read more about WPI.

7. Yale University

Yale University
Image source: Michael Marsland | Yale University

Average annual cost: $20,910

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $83,200

Read more about Yale.

6. Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Maritime Academy
myLoupe | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $23,175

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $84,000

Read more about MMA.

5. Stanford University

Stanford University
David Butow | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $13,857

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $85,700

Read more about Stanford.

4. Stevens Institute of Technology

Source: Stevens Institute of Technology

Average annual cost: $32,869

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $87,300

Read more about Stevens.

3. Georgetown University

Georgetown University campus
Getty Images

Average annual cost: $30,580

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $90,100

Read more about Georgetown.

2. Harvard University

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
Kelvin Ma | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $17,882

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $90,900

Read more about Harvard.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yiming Chen | Getty Images

Average annual cost: $22,968

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $94,200

Read more about MIT.

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These public colleges offer the best value
MIT graduates go on to earn $94,200
Rick Friedman | Getty Images
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