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

Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid


46University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$799,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
47University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$797,000
Total 4 Year Cost$176,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
48New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$794,000
Total 4 Year Cost$131,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,900
49University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Lowell Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$792,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,500
50 (tie)California State University - Hayward(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$790,000
Total 4 Year Cost$137,000
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,600
50 (tie)Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$790,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$33,400
52California State University - Fresno (Fresno State)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
Total 4 Year Cost$81,900
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,300
53 (tie)Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$781,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,500
53 (tie)Stony Brook University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$781,000
Total 4 Year Cost$141,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
53 (tie)Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$781,000
Total 4 Year Cost$166,000
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,400
56SUNY - Binghamton University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$778,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,800
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,800
57University of Colorado - Boulder (CU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$777,000
Total 4 Year Cost$207,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,900
58California State University - Northridge (CSUN)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$775,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$19,800
59 (tie)University of Minnesota - Twin Cities(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$771,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,300
59 (tie)Weber State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$771,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,700
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$19,000

*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.