The value of a college degree has increasingly become a point of concern for students and parents worried that the ever-increasing cost of higher education doesn’t pay off.
Studies have found that college grads do have more stable and lucrative careers than their peers with just a high school diploma, but going to a pricier school doesn’t necessarily mean a better payday. Students who need to borrow a large amount of money to finance their education or who are going into a profession that doesn’t pay very well can do better financially by attending a lower-cost school.
The career site Payscale has crunched the numbers to show just how greatly the value of a degree varies from school to school. The site calculated the future earnings of graduates over 20 years as they compare with the median pay for a high school graduate, taking out the cost of tuition.
The two schools on the 2015 list offering the best return on investment are Harvey Mudd College and California Institute of Technology. The ROI at those schools is more than $1 million over 20 years.
Bringing up the bottom of the list of more than 1,200 schools was the State University of New York College at Potsdam. Out-of-state students who attend that school will make $121,900 less money over 20 years than peers who didn't go to graduate school (in-state students make $85,800 less).