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
MIT graduates go on to earn $94,200

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
Georgia Tech

Average annual cost: $11,574

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

Read more about Georgia Tech.

24. SUNY Maritime College

The north gate of SUNY Maritime College is shown in the Bronx, New York.
Jim Henderson | Wikimedia Commons
The north gate of SUNY Maritime College is shown in the Bronx, New York.

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
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
People walk by Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.

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
RPI

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
The campus of Columbia University in New York City

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
C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Center on the campus of Kettering University.

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
Merchant marines walk to class at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, on August 01, 2016.

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
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
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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
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
Princeton University campus

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
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

IMG_9071.JPG
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
Carnegie Mellon University

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
Colorado School of Mines

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
University of Pennsylvania

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
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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
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
Maine Maritime Academy

Average annual cost: $23,175

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

Read more about MMA.

5. Stanford University

Stanford University Campus.
David Butow | Getty Images
Stanford University Campus.

Average annual cost: $13,857

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

Read more about Stanford.

4. Stevens Institute of Technology

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
Georgetown University campus

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
The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Average annual cost: $17,882

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

Read more about Harvard.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Students walk on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Yiming Chen | Getty Images
Students walk on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Average annual cost: $22,968

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

Read more about MIT.

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