Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Top 65 colleges with the highest ROI (65 items)

By , Deseret News

April 3, 2014

Once again, Payscale has released their annual report ranking colleges based on their return on investment, and once again technical schools and private liberal arts colleges came out on top, for the most part.

There were, however, some major changes to this year's list. According to their website, Payscale has "refined" their methodology to more accurately reflect the ROI potential of a given school.

The most significant change from last year's metric being the switch from tracking the 30-year Net ROI to the 20-year.

Why the change? According to Payscale, income increases largely level off at age 40, and since most students graduate at or around 20 they decided including the extra 10 years in their Net ROI report wasn't necessary.

Because of this some school's saw dramatic changes in their positioning. Brigham Young University, for example, experienced a shift of almost 20 points based on the new metrics.

In fact, BYU is the highest ranking Utah school on the list, coming in at no. 65. Weber State is the second highest, at no. 195. University of Utah, Utah State, Westminster and Southern Utah University were all also ranked, coming in at 204, 215, 552 and 829 respectively.

So which colleges have a better ROI than BYU? You might be surprised by who is, and isn't, included in the top 65.

1 of 65. Brigham Young University (BYU)

2013 Cost: $80,170

20 year net ROI: $534,500

Annual ROI: 10.9 percent

Grad Rate: 77 percent

Last year's rank: 82

2 of 65. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) - Daytona Beach, FL

2013 Cost: $195,700

20 year net ROI: $535,700

Annual ROI: 7.0 percent

Grad Rate: 58 percent

Last year's rank: 79

3 of 65. Milwaukee School of Engineering

2013 Cost: $192,900

20 year net ROI: $536,000

Annual ROI: 7.0%

Grad Rate: 56%

Last year's rank: 59

4 of 65. New Jersey Institute of Technology (Out-of-State)

2013 Cost: $189,400

20 year net ROI: $536,800

Annual ROI: 7.1 percent

Grad Rate: 54 percent

Last year's rank: 36

5 of 65. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (In-State)

2013 Cost: $113,200

20 year net ROI: $541,600

Annual ROI: 9.3 percent

Grad Rate: 84 percent

Last year's rank: 86
1. Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT,
May 28, 2013

What? No University of Utah?

2. CougarBlue
Heber City, UT,
May 28, 2013

Utah Falcon if you read the article really slow then you will understand it is the monetary investment the students/parents pay to attend the college/university. The students at the AF Academy don't pay room and board, nor do they pay tuition or for books. You and I the taxpayer foot those bills. So, no the AF Academy would not be on this list.

As far as Utah I am surprised. That would certainly make one rethink attending there.

3. Beaver Native
Garland, UT,
May 28, 2013

BYU's cost was listed as among the least expensive (perhaps the least).

I think that the real problem in ROI is that students aren't choosing fields where the ROI outlook looks good. I am one who wished I had more seriously considered the ROI when choosing a major.

4. william pogner
buena vista, VA,
May 31, 2013

Very interesting and informative. Thanks. I notice that many of the top ten on this list are schools of technology- engineering heavy programs. I don't imagine too many schools with only a few majors heavy in Shakespeare or Latin would crack the top 1,000 (if such a school existed). What I would really like to see is a list of ROI by major. See if you can get to work on that. :)

5. rnoble
Pendleton, OR,
June 2, 2013

Poorly organized listing. Each college may have different tuition costs but should not occupy two spots in the list. I also don't believe that Harvey Mudd college really returns more than Stanford or Harvard or Caltech even as a percentage when earnings power is related over 30 years. I was surprised that those three were so high up the list because my experience with friends that have attended those while I was at BYU was that I spent roughly a tenth the money that they did at those three. Absent from the list of top 100 is Notre Dame; a friends daughter went there at about thrice the cost of my attending BYU (25 years later) and I am sure her 30 year monetary prospect is at least as good as Stanford or Texas Tech.