Best Value Ivy League Schools

Comprised of eight private colleges and universities in the northeastern United States, the Ivy League is in a class of its own. Renowned for being among the best institutions of higher education in the world, Ivy League Schools provide a world-class education to students who are “wicked smart.”

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Rank 
School Name 
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
 
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
 
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
 
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
 
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
 
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
 
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
17.6%N/A15.0%N/A$797,000N/A$974,000N/A$240,000N/A97%4$18,10017%
1Princeton University(Private)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI15.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$797,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$974,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,100
Grant Money Received17%
27.2%N/A15.1%N/A$760,000N/A$952,000N/A$254,000N/A97%4$27,40016%
2Harvard University(Private)
Annual ROI7.2%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI15.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$760,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$952,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$27,400
Grant Money Received16%
36.9%6.9%13.0%13.0%$739,000$739,000$914,000$914,000$262,000$262,00095%4$28,60014%
3University of Pennsylvania(Private)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI13.0%
Annual ROI13.0%
20 Year Net ROI$739,000
20 Year Net ROI$739,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,600
Grant Money Received14%
46.7%N/A13.2%N/A$707,000N/A$890,000N/A$265,000N/A97%4$24,70015%
4Dartmouth College(Private)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$707,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$890,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$265,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received15%
56.7%N/A14.1%N/A$689,000N/A$882,000N/A$261,000N/A98%4$21,50017%
5Yale University(Private)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$689,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$882,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$261,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$21,500
Grant Money Received17%
66.3%5.9%12.5%11.2%$653,000$630,000$837,000$815,000$272,000$294,00094%4$35,90017%
6Columbia University in the City of New York(Private)
Annual ROI6.3%
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI12.5%
Annual ROI11.2%
20 Year Net ROI$653,000
20 Year Net ROI$630,000
20 Year Net ROI$837,000
20 Year Net ROI$815,000
Total 4 Year Cost$272,000
Total 4 Year Cost$294,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$35,900
Grant Money Received17%
76.5%6.5%10.8%10.8%$646,000$646,000$788,000$788,000$258,000$258,00094%4$32,10015%
7Cornell University(Private)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI10.8%
Annual ROI10.8%
20 Year Net ROI$646,000
20 Year Net ROI$646,000
20 Year Net ROI$788,000
20 Year Net ROI$788,000
Total 4 Year Cost$258,000
Total 4 Year Cost$258,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,100
Grant Money Received15%
86.3%N/A11.7%N/A$616,000N/A$776,000N/A$257,000N/A96%4$28,70013%
8Brown University(Private)
Annual ROI6.3%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$616,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$776,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$257,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,700
Grant Money Received13%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

Although all of the schools are privately funded, many enjoy sizable endowments that allow them to subsidize all or part of many students’ educations. There’s no need to ask why someone would want to earn a degree from an Ivy League school; doing so virtually guarantees a successful, lucrative future.

Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, delivers incredible value for high-achieving students. Founded in 1746, Princeton was one of the nine original Colonial Colleges and has upheld its impeccable Ivy League reputation perfectly through the years. Specializing in undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and engineering, Princeton counts First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and James Madison and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos among its alumni. Though he didn’t graduate from Princeton, Albert Einstein was something of a fixture there, visiting and giving guest lectures on a regular basis.

Ranked third for conferring PhDs in the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania is located in West Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood and counts several billionaires, U.S. Supreme Court justices and heads of state among its alumni. One U.S. President, William Henry Harrison, also graduated from the prestigious school, which currently boasts a student population of around 25,000 students. When it comes to Ivy League schools return on investment, it’s tough to do better.

If there’s one university in the country that needs little or no introduction, it’s Harvard University. Widely regarded as the most prestigious Ivy League school, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard was founded in 1636. The school sprawls across a campus of around 210 acres, which is mostly centered around Harvard Yard. Prestigious alumni from the school include eight U.S. Presidents, 150 Nobel laureates, 62 living billionaires and current U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Harvard is made up of 11 academic units that offer 46 undergraduate majors, 134 graduate degree programs and 32 professional degree programs.

Appearing 16th overall on our national 20 Year Net ROI list, New York City’s Columbia University is a prestigious Ivy League school that was also one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the Revolutionary War, and the school where — among other US Presidents — President Barack Obama earned his undergraduate degree.


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