Best Value Colleges For Engineering Majors

Engineering is one major that is sure to pay you back nicely for years to come.  Read More

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1 (tie)Rice University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,400
1 (tie)University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
3University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,080,000
Total 4 Year Cost$225,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
4University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,020,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
5University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$986,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,800
6University of Houston (UH)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$966,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,400
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
7Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$962,000
Total 4 Year Cost$232,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,200
8Texas Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$958,000
Total 4 Year Cost$86,300
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
9Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$956,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,500
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,000
10Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$955,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,800
11University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$950,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,600
12Indiana University-Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$949,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,200
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,700
13San Jose State University (SJSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$947,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,600
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,900
14Louisiana Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$942,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,100
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
15University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$931,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600

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

It's a versatile major, teaching skills that are in demand well beyond graduation and have significant value in the real world.

If you're a problem solver at heart who loves math and science, then engineering is definitely your calling. Engineers take scientific and mathematical principles and apply them to real-life situations to determine the best possible outcome(s) -- tinkering at its finest. And PayScale's College ROI Report shows you where your educational dollars will be best spent, letting you tinker away at one of the nation's best value colleges for engineer majors. Take your pick!

Coming in at first place for best value schools for engineering majors is the University of California, Berkeley ("Cal"). Based on the College ROI Report, engineering majors receive a net 20-year ROI of $1,124,000 with an annualized ROI of 16.2 percent, assuming financial aid is being collected. The figures take a slight dive for engineering majors who do not receive financial assistance, dropping to a (still impressive) $1,170,000 ROI over 20 years and 12.3 percent annualized return. Cal is the only university to consistently rank in the top three or four on the College ROI Report for multiple majors and ranking third in the world for best value colleges for engineering majors. Just so you know, you can thank UC Berkeley engineers for helping build iconic structures such as the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge.

As the saying goes, "Everything's bigger in Texas," and this includes the expected return on investment provided by one of the state's top private research academies. Coming in at number two on the College ROI Report for engineering majors is Rice University's George R. Brown School of Engineering. Depending on whether financial aid is or isn't included in the ROI calculations, net 20-year returns on investment for engineering majors at Rice are between $1,170,000 (no aid) and $1,310,000 (with aid). The net annualized ROI is slightly higher for engineering majors who do collect aid compared to those who do not, 10 percent versus 15.7 percent, respectively.

In addition to Rice nearing the top of the list of best value colleges for engineering majors, the university and its faculty also put a great deal of emphasis on encouraging female students to pursue engineering degrees through a variety of programs and organizations offered by the university.

Coming in at third place for best value schools for engineering majors is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). (Third place is actually held, again, by UC Berkeley, but for out-of-state students.) For UCSD, returns on investment are $1,120,000 (without financial aid) and $1,090,000 (with aid).

Based on the College ROI Report, engineering majors at UCSD receive a net 20-year ROI of $1,120,000 with an annualized ROI of 12.1 percent, assuming financial aid is being collected. The figures take a slight dive for engineering majors who do not receive financial assistance, dropping to a (still impressive) $1,170,000 ROI over 20 years and 12.3 percent annualized return. Cal is the only university to consistently rank in the top three or four on the College ROI Report for multiple majors and ranking third in the world for best value colleges for engineering majors. Just so you know, you can thank UC Berkeley engineers for helping build iconic structures such as the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge.

Rice University is a smart investment based on the rankings from the College ROI Report for engineering majors, but it comes with a private-school price tag. Cal gives you a bit more bang for your educational buck, regardless of what major you choose -- apparently, chart-topping is Cal's thing. Last, but definitely not least, UCSD pulls rank on the best value colleges for engineering majors list and proves that they can hang with the big boys when it comes to paying back their alumni.