Best Value Colleges For Sports

Whether you have dreams of working your way onto the team -- a la Notre Dame's Rudy -- or just plan to root, root, root for the home team -- ASU's Curtain of Distraction, anyone? -- some students seek out sports colleges because they love attending games and tailgating with friends, while others want to participate in sports themselves.  Read More

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1Stanford University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$854,000
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,100
2Georgia Institute of Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$833,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,500
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
3Princeton University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$820,000
Total 4 Year Cost$224,000
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$14,100
4University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$806,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
5University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$760,000
Total 4 Year Cost$243,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
6Georgia Institute of Technology(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$756,000
Total 4 Year Cost$168,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,700
7Harvard University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$739,000
Total 4 Year Cost$235,000
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$20,300
8University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$715,000
Total 4 Year Cost$225,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,300
9New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$708,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,900
10Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$706,000
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,800
11Rice University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$701,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,400
12California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$698,000
Total 4 Year Cost$96,300
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,400
13Lehigh University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$693,000
Total 4 Year Cost$226,000
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,100
14Dartmouth College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$686,000
Total 4 Year Cost$248,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,200
15University of Michigan - Ann Arbor(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$667,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,700

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

And though they may be more well know more their athletic achievements than their academics, many sports schools offer prospective students the promise of reaching a bowl game season after season and an excellent education.

With a stellar academic reputation and 36 varsity sports teams, Stanford University is easily the best value college for athletes and sports fans alike. Located in Stanford, California, which is near Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, Stanford first opened its doors in 1891 and has been producing some of the most prominent names in business, sports and other areas ever since. Ranked sixth nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI, Stanford has won 105 NCAA championships through the years, the second most in the country. Stanford alumni report a median return on investment of $854,000, a figure that shoots up to $1,010,000 with financial aid. The Stanford Cardinals have a well-known rivalry with UC Berkeley that culminates in the annual "Big Game" football match, and athletes from the school have won medals at every Olympics since 1912.

The Georgia Institute of Technology -- aka "Georgia Tech" -- Yellow Jackets have produced their fair share of star athletes: The NFL's Calvin "Megatron" Johnson and Demaryius Thomas; NBA Champion Chris Bosh, and NBA stars Stephon Marbury and Mark Price; and MLB's beloved Nomar Garciaparra. With its location in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Tech is a fun and exciting place to attend school, and students come out in force to show support for their teams. Ranked eighth on the national 20 Year Net ROI list, the public university is located on a 400-acre campus and boasts a student population of around 23,100 students. Those who have graduated from one of GT's six colleges report a median return of investment of $833,000 in the 20 years following graduation, and that figure increases to $871,000 with financial aid.

In addition to being a highly esteemed Ivy League school, Princeton University -- ranked ninth nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI -- enjoys a strong, exceptional reputation in athletics. Indeed, the Princeton Tigers football team has won 26 national championships, which is more than any other school. Founded in 1746 and located in Princeton, New Jersey, the school boasts a Net Year Net ROI of $820,000 without financial aid and $966,000 with it. Founded in 1746, Princeton was one of the nine original Colonial Colleges and boasts one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world. The approximately 8,000 students who attend the prestigious Ivy League school proudly wear orange-and-black regalia in support of the Tigers, and games tend to be very well-attended.