2013 College ROI Rankings: Best ROI by Type

The type of school you choose can impact the career you have. See the best schools for your career goals.

*Public school rankings are based on in-state tuition. Out-of-state tuition information can be found on the full list.
engineering schools
Engineering Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 Harvey Mudd College Private not-for-profit $2,113,000
2 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Private not-for-profit $1,991,000
3 Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Private not-for-profit $1,622,000
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Private not-for-profit $1,606,000
5 SUNY - Maritime College Public (In-State) $1,586,000
6 Colorado School of Mines Public (In-State) $1,574,000
7 Stevens Institute of Technology Private not-for-profit $1,461,000
8 Georgia Institute of Technology Public (In-State) $1,389,000
9 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) Private not-for-profit $1,354,000
10 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Private not-for-profit $1,316,000
ivy league schools
Ivy League Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 Harvard University Private not-for-profit $1,334,000
2 Dartmouth College Private not-for-profit $1,262,000
3 Princeton University Private not-for-profit $1,234,000
4 University of Pennsylvania Private not-for-profit $1,220,000
5 Columbia University Private not-for-profit $1,175,000
6 Brown University Private not-for-profit $1,118,000
7 Cornell University - Ithaca, NY Private not-for-profit $1,117,000
8 Yale University Private not-for-profit $954,300
liberal arts schools
Liberal Arts Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 Harvey Mudd College Private not-for-profit $2,113,000
2 Claremont McKenna College Private not-for-profit $1,341,000
3 Williams College Private not-for-profit $1,254,000
4 Haverford College Private not-for-profit $1,222,000
5 Swarthmore College Private not-for-profit $1,139,000
6 Lafayette College Private not-for-profit $1,119,000
7 Bucknell University Private not-for-profit $1,094,000
8 Washington and Lee University Private not-for-profit $1,053,000
9 Hamilton College - Clinton, NY Private not-for-profit $1,030,000
10 Amherst College Private not-for-profit $1,024,000
state schools
State Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 SUNY - Maritime College Public (In-State) $1,586,000
2 Colorado School of Mines Public (In-State) $1,574,000
3 Georgia Institute of Technology Public (In-State) $1,389,000
4 Massachusetts Maritime Academy Public (In-State) $1,316,000
5 South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Public (In-State) $1,228,000
6 New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Public (In-State) $1,223,000
7 Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) Public (In-State) $1,183,000
8 University of California - Berkeley Public (In-State) $1,182,000
9 California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo Public (In-State) $1,151,000
10 University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Lowell Campus Public (In-State) $1,094,000
research schools
Research Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Private not-for-profit $1,991,000
2 Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Private not-for-profit $1,622,000
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Private not-for-profit $1,606,000
4 Colorado School of Mines Public (In-State) $1,574,000
5 Stevens Institute of Technology Private not-for-profit $1,461,000
6 Stanford University Private not-for-profit $1,432,000
7 Georgia Institute of Technology Public (In-State) $1,389,000
8 Harvard University Private not-for-profit $1,334,000
9 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Private not-for-profit $1,316,000
10 Dartmouth College Private not-for-profit $1,262,000
art schools
Art Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 Otis College of Art and Design Private not-for-profit $888,300
2 California College of the Arts Private not-for-profit $767,100
3 Academy of Art University Private for-profit $713,000
4 Pratt Institute Private not-for-profit $654,400
5 College for Creative Studies Private not-for-profit $567,900
6 School of Visual Arts (SVA) - New York, NY Private for-profit $486,300
7 Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Private not-for-profit $424,300
8 Massachusetts College of Art and Design Public (In-State) $412,200
9 Minneapolis College of Art and Design Private not-for-profit $393,100
10 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Private not-for-profit $276,700
business schools
Business Schools
Rank School Name (PayScale) School Type (IPEDS) 30-Year Net
Return on Investment (ROI)
(2013 Dollars)
1 Babson College Private not-for-profit $1,228,000
2 Bentley University Private not-for-profit $919,800
3 Bryant University Private not-for-profit $847,900
4 Saint Joseph's University (SJU) - Philadelphia, PA Private not-for-profit $775,000
5 Park University Private not-for-profit $644,100
6 Nichols College Private not-for-profit $612,000
7 Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) Private not-for-profit $516,500
8 Southern New Hampshire University Private not-for-profit $467,100
9 Post University Private for-profit $457,900
10 Robert Morris University (RMU) - Moon Township, PA Private not-for-profit $439,300
* While PayScale relies upon tuition information from the Department of Education for all schools listed in the PayScale College ROI Rankings, this school has an uncommon cost. Please see the methodology for details on how we accounted for these cost differences.
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