Best Value Research Colleges

If you’re passionate about studying the latest data, if you want to be involved in cutting-edge studies held in state-of-the-art facilities, and if your goal is to learn from world-famous professors doing ground-breaking research, attending a school recognized for its research efforts could be your best bet.

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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
18.5%N/A14.6%N/A$1,015,000N/A$1,182,000N/A$249,000N/A93%4$30,20015%
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology(Private)
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.6%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,015,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,182,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$249,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,200
Grant Money Received15%
211.1%11.3%13.2%13.6%$909,000$914,000$949,000$954,000$126,000$121,00077%4$26,70010%
2Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
Annual ROI11.1%
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROI13.6%
20 Year Net ROI$909,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
20 Year Net ROI$949,000
20 Year Net ROI$954,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
37.9%7.9%12.7%12.9%$887,000$890,000$1,033,000$1,036,000$250,000$247,00094%4$30,90011%
3California Institute of Technology(Private)
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROI12.7%
Annual ROI12.9%
20 Year Net ROI$887,000
20 Year Net ROI$890,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,033,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,036,000
Total 4 Year Cost$250,000
Total 4 Year Cost$247,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,900
Grant Money Received11%
411.9%11.4%15.5%14.5%$856,000$847,000$904,000$894,000$101,000$111,00086%5$33,50011%
4Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI11.9%
Annual ROI11.4%
Annual ROI15.5%
Annual ROI14.5%
20 Year Net ROI$856,000
20 Year Net ROI$847,000
20 Year Net ROI$904,000
20 Year Net ROI$894,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received11%
58.7%8.9%10.0%10.2%$840,000$845,000$880,000$885,000$195,000$190,00077%4$26,70010%
5Colorado School of Mines(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI10.0%
Annual ROI10.2%
20 Year Net ROI$840,000
20 Year Net ROI$845,000
20 Year Net ROI$880,000
20 Year Net ROI$885,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
67.6%7.7%10.4%10.6%$832,000$837,000$932,000$937,000$250,000$245,00083%5$26,70017%
6Stevens Institute of Technology(Private)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI10.4%
Annual ROI10.6%
20 Year Net ROI$832,000
20 Year Net ROI$837,000
20 Year Net ROI$932,000
20 Year Net ROI$937,000
Total 4 Year Cost$250,000
Total 4 Year Cost$245,000
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received17%
77.4%N/A15.1%N/A$811,000N/A$1,002,000N/A$255,000N/A94%4$32,20013%
7Stanford University(Private)
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI15.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$811,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,002,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$255,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,200
Grant Money Received13%
87.6%N/A15.0%N/A$797,000N/A$974,000N/A$240,000N/A97%4$18,10017%
8Princeton 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%
9 (tie)8.7%8.4%10.4%10.0%$777,000$768,000$825,000$815,000$180,000$190,00086%5$33,50011%
9 (tie)Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI10.4%
Annual ROI10.0%
20 Year Net ROI$777,000
20 Year Net ROI$768,000
20 Year Net ROI$825,000
20 Year Net ROI$815,000
Total 4 Year Cost$180,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received11%
9 (tie)7.5%7.5%9.7%9.7%$777,000$779,000$858,000$860,000$242,000$240,00086%4$44,40014%
9 (tie)Worcester Polytechnic Institute(Private)
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI9.7%
20 Year Net ROI$777,000
20 Year Net ROI$779,000
20 Year Net ROI$858,000
20 Year Net ROI$860,000
Total 4 Year Cost$242,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$44,400
Grant Money Received14%
117.2%N/A15.1%N/A$760,000N/A$952,000N/A$254,000N/A97%4$27,40016%
11Harvard 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%
129.8%10.7%14.0%16.3%$759,000$780,000$833,000$854,000$139,000$118,00092%4$23,90023%
12University of California-Berkeley(In-State)
Annual ROI9.8%
Annual ROI10.7%
Annual ROI14.0%
Annual ROI16.3%
20 Year Net ROI$759,000
20 Year Net ROI$780,000
20 Year Net ROI$833,000
20 Year Net ROI$854,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,900
Grant Money Received23%
1312.0%N/A15.0%N/A$753,000N/A$789,000N/A$87,300N/A64%5$27,00024%
13Missouri University of Science and Technology(In-State)
Annual ROI12.0%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI15.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$753,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$87,300
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$27,000
Grant Money Received24%
146.9%6.9%13.0%13.0%$739,000$739,000$914,000$914,000$262,000$262,00095%4$28,60014%
14University 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%
156.7%N/A13.2%N/A$707,000N/A$890,000N/A$265,000N/A97%4$24,70015%
15Dartmouth 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%

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

The College ROI Report for research colleges — defined as those that engage in significant levels of research and award PhDs — shows research schools are great for students who want to move into careers in academia or work as researchers, or students just want the chance to work with professors who are doing leading research. (It’s important to note though that salary data for the College ROI Report does not include alumni who go on to earn graduate degrees, since we cannot include the cost of graduate school in our calculations.)

The California Institute of Technology — or Caltech, as it’s more typically called — is renowned for its high research activity, especially in STEM fields. Located in Pasadena, California, the school boasts annual research expenditures of more than $270 million. The private university partners with numerous federal agencies with its research, including the Department of Defense, NASA and the Department of Energy. With 24 majors, or “options,” and six minors in fields ranging from chemical engineering to computer science, Caltech is a great choice for students who’d like to attend a prestigious research university.

Classified as having a “very high level of research activity” by Carnegie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, also often ranks highly in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. The school’s research expenditures exceeded $718.2 million in 2009, and more than 1,300 researchers are employed by MIT in addition to other faculty. The school’s best-known alumni include Buzz Aldrin, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Stanford University is often among the best value research schools students can consider. Located in Silicon Valley near Palo Alto, Stanford is home to more than 18 research centers, labs and institutes, many of which are located in Stanford Research Park. This prestigious university is made up of seven schools, and its 8,180-acre campus is one of the largest in the United States. Stanford students can take their pick from more than 650 clubs and organizations. Those who graduate will join the ranks of illustrious alumni including the founders of HP, Yahoo!, Google and Nike. 30 living billionaires are associated with Stanford, and 17 astronauts earned their degrees from the school as well.


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