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College ROI Report: Where to Go to School If You Love to Party (or Want to Do Anything But)

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If you're in the process of choosing a college, you're probably neck-deep in facts and figures. While it's essential to consider the data when making your choice, if you ignore everything but earning potential and graduation rates, you might wind up picking a school that looks great on paper, but is the worst possible place for you, the individual, to build your academic career. The best school for you is the one that takes all your needs into account, including career path, choice of major, and preferred campus culture. With this in mind, PayScale's College ROI report offers lists of the best schools for sports fans, liberal arts majors, future businesspeople, and much more. For example, if you're interested in a party school or need a place that keeps it clean, the following schools might be for you.

If you’re in the process of choosing a college, you’re probably neck-deep in facts and figures. While it’s essential to consider the data when making your choice, if you ignore everything but earning potential and graduation rates, you might wind up picking a school that looks great on paper, but is the worst possible place for you, the individual, to build your academic career. The best school for you is the one that takes all your needs into account, including career path, choice of major, and preferred campus culture. With this in mind, PayScale’s College ROI report offers lists of the best schools for sports fans, liberal arts majors, future businesspeople, and much more. For example, if you’re interested in a party school or need a place that keeps it clean, the following schools might be for you.

party 

(Photo Credit: NinaZed/Flickr)

PayScale uses the Princeton Review‘s list of the top party schools in the nation, and ranks them according to 20-year net ROI. Princeton classifies an institution as a party school if its students give survey answers that indicate a low number of study hours per day, high use of drugs and alcohol, and popularity of fraternities and sororities on campus.

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Sober schools, on the other hand, are the exact opposite – their students say that they spend a large portion of their day studying, rarely or never use drugs or alcohol, and don’t tend to participate in Greek life.

Ranked by ROI, the top five party schools are:

1. Lehigh University

20-year net ROI: $593,800

Total 4-year cost: $219,200

Average loan amount: $32,320

2. Bucknell University

20-year net ROI: $580,500

Total 4-year cost: $232,500

Average loan amount: $26,440

3. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (In-State)

20-year net ROI: $551,200

Total 4-year cost: $111,800

Average loan amount: $26,840

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Out-of-State)

20-year net ROI: $494,400

Total 4-year cost: $168,600

Average loan amount: $26,840

5. University of Delaware (In-State)

20-year net ROI: $466,600

Total 4-year cost: $96,400

Average loan amount: $31,320

Ranked by ROI, the top five sober schools are:

1. Brigham Young University

20-year net ROI: $615,700

Total 4-year cost: $67,300

Average loan amount:$22,200

2. University of Houston (In-State)

20-year net ROI: $487,700

Total 4-year cost: $85,300

Average loan amount: $24,640

3. University of Houston (Out-of-State)

20-year net ROI: $455,900

Total 4-year cost: $117,200

Average loan amount: $24,640

4. Grove City College

20-year net ROI: $379,400

Total 4-year cost: $93,600

Average loan amount: $43,600

5. Calvin College

20-year net ROI: $288,000

Total 4-year cost: $155,000

Average loan amount: $31,120

Tell Us What You Think

Did campus culture play into your college decision? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

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