Best Value Colleges For Healthcare Careers

Healthcare jobs tend to be both high-paying and, according to our research, healthcare professionals often believe their jobs are meaningful; they believe they're making the world a better place.

To start your healthcare career out right, PayScale's College ROI Report can help you narrow down your list to the best value colleges for healthcare careers.

PayScale calculates the College ROI Report for Healthcare Careers by using the salaries of alumni from each school who go on to work in the healthcare field, regardless of their undergraduate major, to calculate their median 20-year earnings.  Read More

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1Ferris State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$606,000
Total 4 Year Cost$87,700
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,000
2Ferris State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$582,000
Total 4 Year Cost$112,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,000
3Texas Woman's University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$573,000
Total 4 Year Cost$70,900
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,800
4San Jose State University (SJSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$565,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,600
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,900
5University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$556,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,300
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,800
6New York University (NYU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$554,000
Total 4 Year Cost$250,000
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,300
7Texas Woman's University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$534,000
Total 4 Year Cost$110,000
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,800
8University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$522,000
Total 4 Year Cost$122,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,800
9 (tie)Howard University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$520,000
Total 4 Year Cost$164,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,900
9 (tie)San Jose State University (SJSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$520,000
Total 4 Year Cost$142,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,900
11University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$490,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,600
12University of Connecticut (UConn) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$485,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,000
13Stony Brook University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$447,000
Total 4 Year Cost$86,600
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
14Wayne State University - Detroit, MI(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$433,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,900
15University of Oklahoma(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$431,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,200
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,200

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

(All salary data comes from people who have taken the PayScale Salary Survey and told us their job title, salary and other facts in order to get their own personalized salary report.) We then subtract the cost of attending the school and compare how their earnings compare to those of the typical worker who did not earn a bachelor's degree. People who received graduate degrees were not included in these calculations, so the numbers you see here do not include doctors, dentists, and many other of the highest-earning healthcare workers, since those jobs require a graduate degree and we can't calculate how much they spent obtaining that additional education.

But there are many healthcare jobs that don't require advanced degrees, and as the numbers on this list show, when it comes to College ROI, healthcare workers often see big gains. Examples of healthcare job titles that are typical of people on this list include physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, laboratory technicians, dental hygienists, sonographers, ultrasound technicians, dieticians, nutritionals, emergency room technicians, operating room technicians and a wide variety of nurses and nursing managers.

Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan comes in at number one on the list of best college return on investment healthcare for workers, with a 20-year net ROI of $606,000. Ferris State was originally named Big Rapids Industrial School and had the unique mission of providing students with marketable skills to change society. This mission is obviously being accomplished, in part due to the successful healthcare workers who graduate from Ferris State University.

Texas Woman's University (TWU) was established in 1901 as an all-female school, though it has accepted men into its health sciences graduate school in 1972, and fully opened its doors to men in 1994. The school remains unique, however, in that it requires all undergraduates -- regardless of their proposed/intended degree -- to take three hours of multicultural women's studies in order to graduate. Second on our list of best college return on investment healthcare for workers, TWU provides a 20-year net ROI of $573,000, with an annualized ROI of 11.8 percent, the highest annualized ROI in this category.

The oldest institute of higher learning on the West Coast, San Jose State (SJSU) come in at number four on our list of best college return on investment healthcare for workers. SJSU provides a 20-year net ROI of $565,000 at an annualized ROI of 10.3 percent. If financial aid is factored in, that net ROI heads north of $600,000, assuming you're in the 54% of students receiving aid. And here's a nice bonus: More San Jos̩ State University alumni are hired by Silicon Valley firms than graduates of any other college or university.

Another public school on this list dominated by public schools is the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), with an in-state ROI that is third highest in the country for those who go on to work in the healthcare field. UTA alumni working in healthcare see a 20-year net ROI of $556,000. The University of Arlington was named a "Next Generation University' by The New America Foundation and its College of Nursing is ranked number 75 in the nation by US News and World Report.

New York University is the highest-ranking private college for healthcare workers in terms of college ROI and comes in fourth on our rankings overall. Even though it is more expensive than in-state tuition at UTA or Ferris State, it still shows a 20-year net ROI of $554,000 for students who go on to work in healthcare. And that number improves if you are one of the 48 percent of students who receive financial aid, especially since the typical financial aid package per year is more than $25,000 thanks to the school's generous endowment. If financial aid factored into the equation, NYU actually becomes the best value college for healthcare workers in the country with a 20-year net ROI of $657,000.