Best Value Colleges For Engineering Careers

If you're considering a career as an engineer, you're probably already making a wise financial decision.  Read More

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1University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$953,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
2University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$921,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,800
3University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$861,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
4University of Maryland - College Park(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$853,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,100
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,200
5 (tie)Louisiana Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$830,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,100
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
5 (tie)University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$830,000
Total 4 Year Cost$224,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,800
7University of Houston (UH)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$826,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,400
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
8University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$822,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,000
9Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$816,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,500
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,000
10University of Texas (UT) - Austin(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$811,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
11Texas A&M University - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$798,000
Total 4 Year Cost$85,700
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
12Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$796,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,400
13University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Lowell Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$795,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,500
14University of Houston (UH)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$790,000
Total 4 Year Cost$124,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
15Louisiana Tech University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000

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

Engineers of all types are in demand, and almost all can expect to receive high salaries. But if you want to set yourself up for real financial success, you want to choose a college that has a proven track record for producing alumni who receive a solid return on their education investment.

It's not hard to find a high return on investment for engineering majors. So where should you attend college if you want to be an engineer or work in the architecture field? The University of California, San Diego provides the highest 20-Year Net ROI for students who go on to become engineers. The 20-Year Net ROI for in-state students who do not receive financial aid is $953,000. If they qualify for financial aid and/or grants (56 percent of UCSD students receive financial aid), that number goes up to $1,020,000. An ROI of over one million dollars is a pretty great reason to head to UC San Diego if you're considering a career in engineering. The fact that you get to attend college next to the beautiful beaches in La Jolla, California is an added bonus.

Just a few hours north, UC Santa Barbara is the second best value college for engineers. UCSB also boasts a beautiful, beachside campus, and even though it has a reputation as a party school, it provides the second-highest ROI for engineering alumni ($921,000 if you pay sticker-price, $994,000 with financial aid factored in.) That's a whole lot of burritos from Freebirds, the famous taco shop UCSB students flock to.

The third-highest ROI comes from The University of Maryland. Terrapins -- the nickname for the school's "Terp" turtle mascot -- can expect an ROI of $853,000, assuming they don't receive financial and live in-state, and $887,000 if they do receive financial aid. Though the University of Maryland may not be as well-known as schools like Caltech, MIT or UC Berkeley, it's a good bet for students who want to explore an engineering career path. Interesting note: The University of Maryland is the alma mater of Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, who supplies the school's athletic teams with gear and apparel.