The 10 Public Colleges and Universities With the Highest ROI

Public colleges and universities often get short shrift when people talk about the value of higher education. That's because it's so easy to be seduced by the brand-name of an ivy-covered institution of higher learning. But when it comes to getting the highest earning power for your tuition dollar -- and a top-drawer education, to boot -- you can't do better than these schools.

Colorado School of Mines 

(Photo Credit: Alan Levine/Flickr)

(Note: for the purposes of this list, we're looking at in-state tuition. If you want to see the list with in-state and out-of-state calculations, go here -- and get ready to see a lot of repeated names. To customize your own list, begin at the beginning on the front page of PayScale's College ROI report.)

1. Colorado School of Mines

Total Cost of Education: $114,200

20-Year Net ROI: $783,400

Annual ROI: 11 percent

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Total Cost of Education: $92,250

20-Year Net ROI: $755,600

Annual ROI: 11.9 percent

3. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Total Cost of Education: $96,560

20-Year Net ROI: $702,100

Annual ROI: 11.3 percent

4. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Total Cost of Education: $90,330

20-Year Net ROI: $664,400

Annual ROI: 11.4 percent

5. Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T)

Total Cost of Education: $98,170

20-Year Net ROI: $661,000

Annual ROI: 10.9 percent

6. University of California - Berkeley

Total Cost of Education: $133,900

20-Year Net ROI: $654,400

Annual ROI: 9.4 percent

7. California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo

Total Cost of Education: $103,600

20-Year Net ROI: $611,700

Annual ROI: 10.3 percent

8. New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

Total Cost of Education: $137,700

20-Year Net ROI: $588,500

Annual ROI: 8.8 percent

9. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech)

Total Cost of Education: $76,410

20-Year Net ROI: $588,400

Annual ROI: 11.6 percent

10. Texas A&M University - Main Campus

Total Cost of Education: $91,040

20-Year Net ROI: $566,700

Annual ROI: 10.6 percent

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