Payscale released its 2014 College ROI Report, in which it ranks United States colleges and universities based on their "return on investment." In other words, are you getting your money's worth (career-wise) out of those tuition dollars. Before you start salivating, though, be warned: the schools at the top are also among the hardest to get into.
There aren't too many surprises on the lists. The private school list is populated by pricy institutions with lofty reputations (three Ivies in the top 10, though none in the top five) and technology schools dominate, because that's where all the money is in the real world.
Here are Payscale's top five private universities by ROI:
And the top five public schools:
Instead of simply using a school's tuition sticker price, Payscale calculated the price students (in this case, the class of 2013) actually pay, factoring in financial aid and graduation rates (four year vs. five, etc.), and compared it to projected 20-year earnings for graduates, using its own pay data. The result – ROI – is a school's monetary value in the long run.
But what the Payscale report doesn't tell you is how likely it is that you'll score a spot in the freshman class. Harvey Mudd, the school with the highest ROI overall, admits just 19 percent of applicants, according to College Board. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (which needs no introduction), accepts only 8 percent. Stanford's microscopic acceptance rate is 6 percent.