Best Value Colleges For Computer Science Majors

According to PayScale's College ROI Report, computer science majors have the best 20-year net return on investment out of any degrees on the list, which can probably be credited to the high earning potential a computer science degree warrants in today's technology-driven world.  Read More

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1University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,133,000
Total 4 Year Cost$136,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
2University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,050,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,600
3University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Warren College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,045,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
4University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$1,040,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
5Georgia Institute of Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$999,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
6University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$969,000
Total 4 Year Cost$187,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,600
7Brigham Young University (BYU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$966,000
Total 4 Year Cost$70,500
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,200
8University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Warren College(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$951,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
9California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$947,000
Total 4 Year Cost$98,300
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
10University of Virginia (UVA) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$938,000
Total 4 Year Cost$108,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,300
11University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$936,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,700
12Georgia Institute of Technology(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$921,000
Total 4 Year Cost$174,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
13James Madison University (JMU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,400
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
14California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$902,000
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
15University of Delaware(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$900,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,400

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

In case you hadn't noticed, technology is ubiquitous these days, permeating every facet of our world, from the iPhone in your pocket to Google's self-driving cars roaming the streets outside your office. This explosion in tech means there's a relative scarcity of employees who can invent, code, develop build it all, and computer science and math majors are poised to cash in on that shortage. PayScale's College ROI Report provides expected return on investment for different majors based on expected 20-year earnings for alumni from top universities across the nation, and the return on investment for computer science majors is the highest overall. And by using the College ROI Report, computer science majors can use the findings to make an informed decision of which computer science programs offer the best return for their educational dollar.

Perennially coming in as one for best value colleges for computer science majors is Stanford University in Silicon Valley, home to some of the largest high-tech companies and startups in the world. Stanford might top the charts for best college for students to pursue a computer science degree, but it, unfortunately, is also at the top of the list for having one of the worst college mascots; a tree ('Cardinal", if you're feeling fancy). In fact, Stanford doesn't actually have a mascot, the school unofficially reverted to "Cardinal" because it was the university's color. Official mascot or not, Stanford's graduation rate is still near perfect at 96 percent.

New York City's Columbia University, is a prestigious Ivy League school that was one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the Revolutionary War, and was also the school where -- among other US Presidents -- President Barack Obama earned his undergraduate degree.

Another high-ranked school for computer science majors in our College ROI report is a consistently high performer across the board: UC Berkeley.

All three top-tier best value colleges for computer science majors prove to be wise investments. One thing's for sure, computer science majors can expect one of the most lucrative ROIs out of any degree on the College ROI Report. Use PayScale's College ROI Report to see how well a computer science degree from your current or potential university pays its alumni back in the real world.