Return on Investment of Your College Education – Top 15 Schools and How to Calculate It Yourself!

Recently, I was reading the Monday, August 9th edition of the Investor’s Business Daily newspaper, and came across a very interesting article about the US colleges with the top 25 return on investment (ROI).

A quick listing of the top 15 schools is shown below:

  1. Georgia Tech
  2. Brigham Young
  3. University of Virginia. Go UVA!
  4. William and Mary
  5. Colorado School of Mines
  6. Virginia Tech
  7. University of Michigan
  8. UC Los Angeles
  9. UC Berkeley
  10. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  11. University of Florida
  12. Cal Tech State University (not California Institute of Technology)
  13. Texas A&M
  14. James Madison University! Go Dukes!
  15. University of Delaware. There are some smart ones in Delaware!

A couple of key points stick out to me on this list, as described below:

  • The State of Virginia has 4 of the top 15 highest return schools! Go Virginia. 
    • I’m partial because I live in this state. 🙂
  • The 1st Northeastern United States school is not until #15 on the list, University of Delaware. The first California school is not until #8 on the list.
    • The ROI is not looking too good for the two areas in the US with the highest cost of living.
  • 8 of the top 15 schools are in the South.

So, without a doubt, this is very interesting information. All of the source data from this article comes from If you have children that are debating among colleges about which to attend, this site has useful information about potential salaries and return on investment.

But, as I was reading through this article, I was curious about how I could expand the advice in this article so that everyone could calculate what their annual return on investment has been in the years that they have worked since attending college.

To calculate your ROI, you need the following two pieces of information:

  • Return = average annual income that you have received since you ended college
  • Investment = total cost to attend college
    • calculates this by summing tuition, room, board, and fees.
Once you have these two numbers calculate (Return / Investment) x 100 to get your ROI percentage. 
Yes – I believe that makes sense.

How about you all? Do you all currently tabulate your ROI for your college education? How did your school come out in the above rankings?

Let us know by commenting below!

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  1. Being in these schools can indeed give you the confidence of getting a job in the future. But, I believe that it still depends on your personality and capabilities as an individual. There are many successful people in our country who did not go to prestigious schools but with great positions.

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