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In the list below, you will see a lot of public schools can get you very good return for your investment in college education.  Some do even better than the Ivy League or world famous schools.

For example, in the following list #29, #27, #23, #20, #13, #9, and #5 are all public schools with very reasonable tuitions for four-year college education.  The returns of those schools in 20 years are a lot better than many expensive and renowned private institutions.

Surprise?   Massachusetts (MA) is home for world best schools such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston College, and Boston University.  Those four world’s best schools are not on the list of “The 51 Best Colleges in the U.S. for Highest 20-year Net ROI.”      Which school in MA made the best return in 20 years of graduation?   It is #4 Babson College, a private school focusing on entrepreneurship.

The list below is based on an article published by TheStreet on October 10, 2015.    Each row shows the school name (city, state), cost for 4 years, 20-year net ROI (the net average salary a graduate could make in 20 years.)    A school name in green indicates it is a private college or university.

  • 51. University of Maine at Orono (Orono, Maine),  $92,000, $260,200
  • 50. Mississippi State University (Mississippi State, MS), $81,700, $281,300
  • 49. Hawaii Pacific University (Honolulu, HI), $133,300, $289,700
  • 48. University of Arkansas – Main Campus (Fayetteville, AR), $83,600, $309,400
  • 47. Norwich University (Northfield, VT), $184,900, $318,100
  • 46. University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), $83,400, $329,600
  • 45. University of Nevada – Reno (Reno, NE), $88,300, $364,700
  • 44. Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS), $80,600, $372,400
  • 43. University of Idaho (Moscow, ID), $77,100, $375,900
  • 42. University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY), $69,500, $383,500
  • 41. University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK), $89,900, $413,100
  • 40. North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND), $74,700, $418,300
  • 39. Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, LA), $69,400, $440,200
  • 38. Iowa State University (Ames, IA), $75,300, $447,700
  • 37. University of Delaware (Newark, DE), $96,400, $466,600
  • 36. Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, KY), $150,800, $472,200
  • 35. Clemson University (Clemson, SC), $108,400, $474,600
  • 34. University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN), $97,500, $485,500
  • 33. Georgetown University (Washington, DC), $236,700, $486,300
  • 32. University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks, AL), $66,300, $486,700
  • 31. Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, WI), $180,000, $523,000
  • 30. University of Washington (Seattle, WA), $99,200, $523,800
  • 29. Institute of Technology at West Virginia University (Seattle, WA), $66,800, $536,200
  • 28. Montana Tech of The University of Montana (Butte, Montana), $71,900, $541,000
  • 27. Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls, OR), $80,700, $552,300
  • 26, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), $236,200, $556,800
  • 25. Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL), $203,900, $559,100
  • 24. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL), $201,800, $561,200
  • 23. University of Alabama in Huntsville (Huntsville, AL), $88,300, $564,700
  • 22. Yale University (New Haven, CT), $234,500, $578,500
  • 21. Case Western University (Cleveland, OH), $220,000, $583,000
  • 20. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM), $69,300, $583,700
  • 19. John Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), $233,300, $$598,700
  • 18. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, AZ), $179,300, $603,700
  • 17. Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), $238,700, $604,600
  • 16. Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), $67,300, $615,700
  • 15. Duke University (Durham, NC), $233,800, $619,200
  • 14. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), $234,500, $688,500
  • 13. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (Rapid City, SD), $82,100, $700,900
  • 12. Rice University (Houston, TX), $204,800, $708,400
  • 11. Polytechnic Institute of New York University (now NYU Tandon School Engineering), $219,100, $713,900
  • 10. Brown University (Providence, RI), $229,100, $723,900
  • 9. Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO), $87,000, $726,000
  • 8. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terra Haute, IN), $217,900, $735,100
  • 7. Kettering University (Flint, MI), $190,100, $752,900
  • 6. Virginia Military Institute (Lexington, VA), $95,700, $767,300
  • 5. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA), $86,700, $796,300
  • 4. Babson College (Wellesley, MA), $230,200, $812,800
  • 3. Colorado School Mines (Golden, CO), $112,000, $831,000
  • 2. Steven Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ), $232,000, $841,000
  • 1. Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA), $237,700, $985,300