Best Value Ivy League Schools

Ivy League Schools are famous for providing world-class educations to the brightest students.  Read More

Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid


1Princeton University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$795,700
Total 4 Year Cost$217,300
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$17,040
2Brown University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$723,900
Total 4 Year Cost$229,100
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,640
3University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$659,000
Total 4 Year Cost$234,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,760
4Harvard University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$646,100
Total 4 Year Cost$227,000
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,080
5Dartmouth College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$604,600
Total 4 Year Cost$238,700
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,360
6Cornell University - Ithaca, NY(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$600,000
Total 4 Year Cost$233,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,840
7Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$591,400
Total 4 Year Cost$241,600
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,720
8Yale University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$578,500
Total 4 Year Cost$234,500
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$19,160

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

PayScale's College ROI Report for Ivy League Schools allows students and their parents to determine which of these fine universities offer the best return on the cost of attendance. Made up of eight private colleges and universities in the northeastern United States, the Ivy League is in a class of its own. Although all of the schools are privately funded, many enjoy sizable endowments that allow them to subsidize all or part of many students' educations. There's no need to ask why someone would want to earn a degree from an Ivy League school. Doing so virtually guarantees a successful, lucrative future. No matter why you'd like to attend one of these schools, consider availing yourself of PayScale's data to identify the best value Ivy League schools prior to applying.

Ranked ninth on our national 20 Year Net ROI list, Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, delivers incredible value for high-achieving students. Indeed, Princeton alumni report a median return of investment of $795,700 in the two decades following graduation. With financial aid, that number soars to $932,500. Founded in 1746, Princeton was one of the nine original Colonial Colleges and has upheld its impeccable Ivy League reputation perfectly through the years. Specializing in undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and engineering, Princeton counts First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and James Madison and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos among its alumni. Though he didn't graduate from Princeton, Albert Einstein was something of a fixture there, visiting and giving guest lectures on a regular basis.

Located in the lovely College Hill district of Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University is yet another Ivy League school that boasts a high ranking on our 20 Year Net ROI list. With a reported 20 Year Net ROI of $723,900 without financial aid and $867,000 with it, Brown is ranked 15th nationally and third among Ivy League schools. Founded in 1764 and one of the original nine Colonial Colleges, Brown is made up of several schools, including the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies. Nearly 80 majors are offered, including options in biology, history and international relations.

Ranked third for conferring PhDs in the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania also happens to be ranked 31st in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Located in West Philadelphia's University City neighborhood, UPenn counts several billionaires, U.S. Supreme Court justices and heads of state among its alumni. One U.S. President, William Henry Harrison, also graduated from the prestigious school, which currently boasts a student population of around 25,000 students. UPenn alums report a median return of investment of $659,000 over the 20 years after they graduate, and that figure jumps to $809,400 with financial aid. When it comes to Ivy League schools return on investment, it's tough to do better.

If there's one university in the country that needs little or no introduction, it's Harvard University. Widely regarded as the most prestigious Ivy League school, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard appears 34th on our national 20 Year Net ROI list. Founded in 1636, the school sprawls across a campus of around 210 acres, which is mostly centered around Harvard Yard. Prestigious alumni from the school include eight U.S. Presidents, 150 Nobel laureates, 62 living billionaires and current U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Harvard is made up of 11 academic units that offer 46 undergraduate majors, 134 graduate degree programs and 32 professional degree programs. In the 20 years following graduation, Harvard alumni report a median return of investment of $646,100; that figure zooms to $812,100 with financial aid.