Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, was rated ninth on PayScale's 2013 College Education Return on Investment Rankings, according to an announcement last week.
In the survey, Stevens graduates grossed $1.46 million in cumulative earnings above the cost of their bachelor's degree after 30 years in the work force. The average tuition cost for four years in 2012 was $237,300.
The university was ranked 24th on last year's list.
"To say we are excited is an understatement," said President Nariman Farvardin. "That was a steep upward trajectory from number 24 to number nine. I'm proud to be serving a university that is on the move."
Overall, engineering and research universities offered the best ROI. Also ranking near the top in New Jersey was Princeton, at No. 24, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which finished 27th for in-state students and 36th for out-of-state students.
PayScale ranked more than 1,500 colleges and universities nationwide to determine the potential financial return of attending each school, given the cost of tuition and the payoff in median lifetime earnings associated with each school. Only graduates with bachelor's degrees and no higher were used in the survey.
Stevens, a private research university specializing in science, engineering and technology programs, ranked fourth among Northeast schools, fifth among research schools, and seventh among engineering schools. When factoring in students who paid for their degree with the help of financial aid, Stevens places eighth nationally, with a 30-year net return on investment of $1.57 million.
Ninety-four percent of Stevens' 2012 graduates secured jobs or admission to graduate, law or medical school, or entered the military within six months of graduation. The job opportunities accepted by 2012 graduates also carried an average starting salary of $62,850.
"Stevens gives the kind of education that the economy needs," Farvardin said. "Employers recognize the value of the education our students receive. As a result, they get better jobs with better salaries.