Best Value Colleges in New Jersey

Attending college in the Garden State can mean being surrounded by colonial-era architecture and peaceful rolling, forested hills … or having easy access to some of the biggest, brightest and best cities the east coast has to offer, including the Big Apple.  Read More

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1Princeton University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$820,000
Total 4 Year Cost$224,000
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$14,100
2Stevens Institute of Technology(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$781,000
Total 4 Year Cost$239,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$45,800
3New 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
4New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$658,000
Total 4 Year Cost$176,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,900
5Rutgers University - New Brunswick Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$558,000
Total 4 Year Cost$116,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
6The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$516,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$39,100
7Rutgers University - New Brunswick Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$503,000
Total 4 Year Cost$171,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
8The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$475,000
Total 4 Year Cost$159,000
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$39,100
9Seton Hall University - South Orange, NJ(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$444,000
Total 4 Year Cost$200,000
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$41,700
10Saint Peters College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$426,000
Total 4 Year Cost$188,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,400
11Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) - Madison, NJ(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$406,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$39,000
12Rider University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$376,000
Total 4 Year Cost$202,000
Grad Rate63%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$43,900
13Rutgers University - Camden Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,400
14Rowan University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,900
15William Paterson University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$326,000
Total 4 Year Cost$108,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,000

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

If you're considering a school in New Jersey, it's important to know where your dollars will go the farthest. Using PayScale's college ROI report, you can research and compare which New Jersey colleges provide the biggest return on investment by measuring the 20-year net ROI, which is the amount of money a student can expect to earn over a 20-year period after graduating from a particular school. Consult our guide to save yourself some time and application money.

With one of the highest ROI's in New Jersey, it's hard to believe the Stevens Institute of Technology isn't an Ivy League college. Ranked 16th nationally on our list, students who choose to make Steven's their home pay a tuition of $239k, but the payoff is worth it -- at a median 20-year net ROI of $781k. In the state of New Jersey, Stevens is ranked 37th in terms of ROI. But other than the cost and reward of attending college here, there are more factors about Steven's that make it great. Located in Hoboken, Stevens Institute of Technology is just across the river from the bright lights of New York City. This is great for students looking to get their foot in the workforce, as the variety of companies and services in New York City is abundant.

The highest ranking public school from New Jersey is the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a research university. Coming in at number 27 nationally, this public college touts a median 20-year net ROI of $708k. Within the state of New Jersey, NJIT ranks third for ROI. Those who live in-state will pay $126k to attend, while out-of-staters will pay a higher tuition around 176k. NJIT is located in the University Heights neighborhood of Newark, and around 80% of its students choose to commute to class.

Taking the top spot for New Jersey's best value colleges is an Ivy League school that needs no introduction. Princeton University, which is ranked 9th nationally and first in the state of New Jersey, produces some of the world's most prestigious and notable alumni, including first lady Michelle Obama, US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and even the X Files' David Duchovny. Of course, that isn't the reason why they made the PayScale list. Princeton graduates pay a tuition of $244k and have a median 20-year net ROI of $820k, one of the highest on our list.

Although New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the US, it's home to 62 colleges. Thirty-three public, and 29 private. But the calling of college isn't the only reason people choose to make New Jersey their home for four years. New Jersey is a melting pot of people from an incredible number of backgrounds and nationalities. With that said, the cuisine is just one of the perks of living in New Jersey. New Jersey has been credited for the development of the submarine sandwich, and the supreme cuisine we call cheesesteaks. And of course, it's an irrefutable fact that the best pizza in America comes from the Garden State.