Three N.J. schools make Top 50 in PayScale’s Best Value Colleges

The website PayScale is out with its 2018 list of the Best Value Colleges, ranked by return on investment, and three New Jersey schools cracked the Top 50.

PayScale ranked more than 1,800 colleges on factors including 20-year net ROI, total four-year cost, average loan amount and whether the student received in-state or out-of-state rates.

Stevens Institute of Technology was the highest-ranked New Jersey college, coming in at No. 15. For a four-year cost of $250,000, including $26,700 in loans, the school posted a 20-year ROI of $832,000.

“A Stevens education continues to be one of the best investments students can make,” Stevens President Nariman Farvardin said in a prepared statement. “Students learn how to leverage technology to solve problems, and their broad base of knowledge and critical thinking skills allow them to adapt to a changing world, regardless of their major of study. That value goes beyond personal financial success and extends to families, business, communities and society as a whole.”

Princeton University wasn’t far behind Stevens, ranking 18th overall. While the college costs $240,000 over four years, and requires an average $18,100 in loans, its ROI is a robust $797,000.

The top New Jersey public school on the list was New Jersey Institute of Technology, ranked 35th for in-state students and tied for 49th for out-of-state students. In-state students earned an average 20-year ROI of $704,000 against a $135,000 cost and $34,400 in loans. Out-of-state students racked up an ROI of $649,000, but that was measured against a $190,000 four-year cost (and the same loan average).

Several of the top colleges were military academies or similar schools, which have either low or no tuition in exchange for their service commitment. The Top 10 schools on the list:

  1. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ($1.09 million 20-year ROI);
  2. U.S. Military Academy ($1.04 million);
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($1.02 million);
  4. U.S. Naval Academy ($1 million);
  5. SUNY Maritime College, in-state ($1 million);
  6. Harvey Mudd College ($978,000)
  7. SUNY Maritime College, out-of-state ($964,000);
  8. Colorado School of Mines, in-state ($909,000);
  9. U.S. Air Force Academy ($905,000);
  10. California Institute of Technology ($887,000).

For the complete rankings, click here.