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Two N.J. colleges among Top 15 best in nation for ROI

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When it comes to colleges with the best return on investment, parents and policymakers are all trying to get the best bang for their buck.

It turns out two New Jersey universities have scored high on PayScale’s 2017 College ROI Report: Best Value Colleges list, focused on a 20-year net return on investment. The list also factors in financial aid, the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and more to rank more than 1,500 private and public institutions nationwide.

Twenty-year net ROI is defined by Payscale as the difference between 20-year median pay for a bachelor’s graduate and 24-year median pay for a high school graduate minus total four year cost. The cost utilized is the total cost for a graduate.

Stevens Institute of Technology came in at No. 12 overall on the list and No. 1 in New Jersey, with a 20-year net ROI of $800,000. The Hoboken university has a total four-year cost of approximately $244,000.

“This recognition reaffirms our outstanding reputation for laying the foundation for the long-term career success of our graduates. It is a testament to the technology-driven orientation that is at the core of a Stevens education,” said Stevens President Nariman Farvardin. “Our graduates are recruited into highly competitive positions by the nation’s top employers. Prospective students choose Stevens knowing with confidence that they will leave here with exceptional career opportunities and ultimately a great return on their investment.”

Princeton University also ranked highly on the list, at No. 15 overall and No. 2 in New Jersey, with a 20-year net ROI of $764,000. Its total four-year cost is $231,000. It has a higher graduation rate than Stevens, at 97 percent, and students normally take four years to graduate.

The No. 1 school in the country, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, has a 20-year net ROI of $1,056,000 and a total four-year cost of $33,100.

Here are the Top 15 colleges in New Jersey (note that in-state and out-of-state tuition play a big part):

  1. Stevens Institute of Technology (private)
  2. Princeton University (private)
  3. New Jersey Institute of Technology (in-state)
  4. New Jersey Institute of Technology (out-of-state)
  5. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (in-state)
  6. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (out-of-state)
  7. Rutgers University – Newark (in-state)
  8. Felician College (private)
  9. The College of New Jersey (in-state)
  10. Rutgers University – Newark (out-of-state)
  11. The College of New Jersey (out-of-state)
  12. Montclair State University (in-state)
  13. Seton Hall University (private)
  14. Montclair State University (out-of-state)
  15. Rutgers University – Camden (in-state)

It’s interesting to note that Rutgers University – New Brunswick was not on the list.

To see the rest of the New Jersey list, click here.

To see the entire U.S. list, click here.

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Emily Bader

Emily Bader


Emily Bader is the Web Editor and Social Media Coordinator at NJBIZ. She is a Brielle, N.J. native and a Rutgers University alum. You can contact her at emilyb@njbiz.com.

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