Best Value Colleges For Business Careers

A business or finance career path can definitely lead to a healthy salary—or better—but before you command a boardroom or ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, you’ll probably need a college degree.  Read More

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1Trinity College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,000,000
Total 4 Year Cost$244,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,800
2Stanford University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$936,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,100
3Cornell University - Ithaca, NY(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$932,000
Total 4 Year Cost$242,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
4University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$877,000
Total 4 Year Cost$243,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
5University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$851,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
6Georgia Institute of Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$843,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,500
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
7Boston College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$815,000
Total 4 Year Cost$239,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$18,000
8 (tie)Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$803,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,800
8 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$803,000
Total 4 Year Cost$243,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$42,800
10Harvard University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$792,000
Total 4 Year Cost$235,000
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$20,300
11Santa Clara University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$791,000
Total 4 Year Cost$235,000
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,400
12Georgetown University - Washington D.C.(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$769,000
Total 4 Year Cost$245,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,100
13Georgia Institute of Technology(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$766,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
14University of Notre Dame(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$762,000
Total 4 Year Cost$236,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
15University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$759,000
Total 4 Year Cost$225,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300

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

And since you're a future mogul, you should be thinking in terms of college return on investment for business majors before you choose a college.

When it comes to entering the business world, Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut, comes in number one on PayScale’s 2016 College ROI Report. Trinity alums who go on to business jobs receive a 20-year net ROI of a million dollars, with an annualized ROI of 8.7 percent. Considered one of the "Little Ivies," Trinity is also well known for its emphasis on "study away" programs and international travel, with roughly 70 percent of undergrads choosing to study abroad or in a another U.S. city before graduating.

Stanford University appears at the top of a number of lists in PayScale’s 2016 College ROI Report, and it’s number two when it comes to college return on investment for students who go on to work in the world of big business. Stanford alumni in business can expect an annualized ROI of 8.4 percent, and a 20-year net ROI of $936,000, assuming no financial aid is being collected. With financial aid, that figure rises to $1,090,000, meaning even though it may appear expensive, Stanford offers a great return on investment for students planning a career in business.

Ivy League Cornell University provides the second best value for those who plan to work in business jobs. Cornell alumni who go on to business jobs get a 20-year net ROI of $932,000. Located in Ithaca, New York, business is just one area where Cornell alumni shine, but if you are interested in a business career, or a finance career path, you may want to aim high and dress warm, because Cornell is not only a great value, it's pretty cold in the winter.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is world-renowned, and is one of the only business schools in the United States with a strong undergraduate program, so it's no surprise that Penn provides one of the highest returns on investment for alumni who go on to work in business and finance. UPenn is the alma mater of Donald Trump, Peter Lynch of the Magellan Fund, Elon Musk and even Warren Buffet. (Warren Buffet dropped out of Wharton's undergraduate program after just two years as a student there.) Alumni who receive a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and go on to work in business or finance jobs see a 20-year net ROI of $877,000 without financial aid. With the typical financial aid package included, the 20-year net ROI of a Wharton education is over one million dollars. Approximately 45 percent of UPenn students receive some form of financial aid.

A career path in business can lead to hundreds of different types of jobs, including anything from business analyst, to investment banker, to buyer, to accountant, to underwriter and many, many more.