Typically private and best known for concentrating on undergraduate studies, liberal arts colleges offer a wide range of degree programs and opportunities for students from all walks of life. Read More
Named the 15th best liberal arts college by U.S. News and World Report, Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, also happens to be the number-one school in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Located on a 38-acre campus about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the school is a part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, and students can attend classes at other schools in the system as well. The school, which offers four-year degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, engineering and computer science, boasts a 20 Year Net ROI of $985,300. When financial aid is factored in, that number soars to $1,104,500. Harvey Mudd College traditionally has the highest rate of science and engineering PhD production in the U.S., and numerous astronauts, business leaders and other prominent members of society have graduated from the private school through the years.
With its 32nd-place ranking on our 20 Year Net ROI list, Lafayette College offers some of the best values in liberal arts colleges. Indeed, the school was listed as the 31st best value in liberal arts schools by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, and the private, Easton, Pennsylvania-based school has enjoyed an impeccable academic reputation since its founding in 1826. Because it's located roughly between NYC and Philadelphia, Lafayette is a convenient option for East Coast students who want to be close to cultural, historical and entertainment options. Degrees are granted from a number of programs, including biology, psychology, English and the social sciences, and two Nobel Award winners are associated with the school. The 20 Year Net ROI is $656,100 without financial aid and $782,900 with it, so it's a great value for liberal arts students.
In addition to being the largest private liberal arts university in the U.S., Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is ranked 59th nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Indeed, Bucknell alumni report a median return of investment of $520,500 in the 20 years after they graduate. That figure jumps to $691,000 with financial aid. Located on a 445-acre rural campus, the school confers degrees from its three schools and colleges across a variety of disciplines, including social sciences, education, engineering and management.
When it comes to liberal arts colleges return on investment, you can't go wrong with Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Founded in 1749, the school gets its name from two sources: George Washington endowed it with stock shortly after its founding, and Robert E. Lee served as president from 1865 through 1870. In addition to boasting a 20 Year Net ROI of $589,900 without financial aid and $739,800 with it, the school is consistently ranked in the first tier for liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. 42 undergraduate majors and 22 minors are offered by its three academic units, and notable alumni include three U.S. Supreme Court justices, 27 U.S. Senators, 31 state governors and several Pulitzer Prize winners. Show Less