Consider higher education an investment in your student’s future? Then has a must-read ranking list just for you.


This week, released its annual College Education Return on Investment Rankings. This ranking shows how much one would expect to get in return for the money it costs to get an undergraduate degree from a particular college. 


This year’s top perfomers:

  • Harvey Mudd College [$2,113,000 30 Year Net Return on Investment]
  • Caltech [$1,991,000 30 Year Net Return on Investment]
  • NYU-Poly [$1,622,000 30 Year Net Return on Investment]
  • MIT [$1,606,000 30 Year Net Return on Investment]
  • SUNY – Maritime College (In-State, ranked #7 for Out-of-State) [$1,586,000 30 Year Net Return on Investment]


The ranking heavily favors schools categorized as engineering schools. This is, in part, because the ranking only measures undergraduate degrees and engineering is one of the better paying undergraduate majors. Law degrees, PhDs, MBAs and medical degrees, were therefore excluded from the rankings.


Quartz, for its analysis of the Payscale College Education ROI, recompiled the top 5 schools that don’t focus on engineering. This version of the ranking moved some famous schools right to the top of the list:

  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Williams College
  • Dartmouth College


Some other notable findings:

  • Expensive schools tend to do well for return on investment, whether public or private.
  • SUNY – Martime College was the highest rated public school for return on investment.
  • University of California – Berkeley was the highest rated public school not classified as an engineering school.
  • 28 schools (out of 1,511) had a negative return on investment. 


We highly recommend reading the full list to compare where you or your student’s school ranks. We also suggest the Quartz article which adds some nice layers of analysis.