Best Value Colleges For Science Majors

If you're interested in the sciences, from astronomy to zoology, PayScale's College ROI Report can help you find the best value college for science majors by showing which colleges across the United States produce alumni who major in science and go on to earn the best college returns on investment.  Read More

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1California State Polytechnic University - Pomona(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$619,100
Total 4 Year Cost$83,900
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
2San Jose State University (SJSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$580,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,960
3California State Polytechnic University - Pomona(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$574,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
4San Jose State University (SJSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$534,900
Total 4 Year Cost$138,100
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,960
5University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$524,300
Total 4 Year Cost$88,700
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,400
6University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$513,100
Total 4 Year Cost$129,900
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
7University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$443,300
Total 4 Year Cost$169,700
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,400
8University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$431,200
Total 4 Year Cost$111,800
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,840
9University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$421,600
Total 4 Year Cost$221,400
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
10University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$415,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,440
11Rutgers University - New Brunswick Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$408,800
Total 4 Year Cost$114,200
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,240
12University of California - Irvine (UCI)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$405,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,440
13University of Delaware(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$396,600
Total 4 Year Cost$96,400
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,320
14University of Texas (UT) - Austin(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$392,700
Total 4 Year Cost$100,300
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,960
15University of Connecticut (UConn) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$389,700
Total 4 Year Cost$103,300
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,760

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

Physical Sciences include the study of organic, but non-living materials, and include chemistry, physics, meteorology and more. Life science is the study of living organisms and the physical, particularly their processes and interrelationships. Disciplines that fall under life science include ecology, psychology, neurology, and biology, to name a few. As indicated by PayScale's College ROI Report, life science majors are also wise investments for the future. See which schools top the College ROI Report for best value colleges for life science majors.

California State Polytechnic University -- Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona, for short) is first place for best value colleges for science majors, based on the College ROI Report. Life science majors at Cal Poly Pomona are looking at a return on their investment of $619,100 for in-state students not collecting financial aid and $654,800 when aid is collected. That comes out to annualized net ROIs of 11.4 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

As it turns out, Cal Poly Pomona is still one of the best value colleges for life science majors for out-of-state students, too, coming in at number three on the College ROI Report. Because out-of-state tuition is higher than tuition for residents, it's expected that the return on investment for science majors would be lower; however, not by much. Out-of-state life science majors can expect a 20-year net ROI between $574,000 (no financial aid) and $609,600 (with aid), with an annualized net return on investment of roughly 10 percent.

Oddly enough, the number two and four spots for best value colleges for science majors goes to this California state school -- San Jose State University (SJSU), home of the Spartans. As with first and third place winner, Cal Poly Pomona, SJSU science majors can expect differing returns based on whether they're paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, and whether or not they're collecting financial aid or not. Based on the College ROI Report, science majors who are paying in-state tuition (#2 on the list) are looking at net 20-year ROIs of $580,000 (no aid) and $619,100 (with aid).

Out-of-state science majors (#4 on the list) who are not collecting financial aid have an ROI of $534,900 with an annualized ROI of 8.4 percent. When financial aid is not being collected, those calculations jump to $579,600 and 12.5 percent, respectively.

Cal Poly Pomona and SJSU prove that, regardless of whether students are local residents or out-of-towners, pursuing a science major is a wise investment with promising returns for alumni.