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Here in the United States, education comes at a price. As the cost of education climbs and climbs, loans have become increasingly necessary for students interested in pursuing higher education. As a result, the national student debt currently stands at a whopping 1.2 trillion dollars. This being the case, many people have started to choose their degrees based off of their ROI, or return on investment. Students have started to take less heed of what they actually want to do or where they want to go, in favor of picking and achieving degrees that promise them the best payoff in the long run, a fact which underscores a major problem with our education system. The value of education is falling as money becomes the major determining factor for many students. While it is understandable that, of course, the final payoff of your degree should play a role in your college and major choice, it’s a pity that it has become the primary one.Unfortunately, in the world we live in, we almost no choice but to care about the ultimate payoff of our degrees.

The ROI not only varies by school, but also by which degree you choose. Here are the 5 best and 5 worst schools for your degree, based on their 20-year ROIs.


Stanford University

(photo via Stanford)

1. Stanford University – Stanford, California

Degree: Computer Science

ROI: $1.7 million

2. Harvey Mudd College – Claremont, California

Degree: Computer Science

ROI: $1.1 million

3. Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas

Degree: Political Science

ROI: $600, 000

4. Columbia University – New York, New York

Degree: Arts

ROI: $478,000

5. Montclair State University – Montclair, New Jersey

Degree: Education

ROI: $189,000


Murray State University

(photo via Wikipedia)

1.  Murray State University РMurray, Kentucky

Degree: Arts

ROI: -$197,000

2. Florida International University – Miami, Florida

Degree: Humanities

ROI: -192,000

3. Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia

Degree: Education

ROI: -$169,000

4. Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Degree: Arts

ROI: -$187,000

5. University of Missouri – St. Louis, Missouri

Degree: Social Work/Criminal Justice

ROI: -$112,000

 Was return on investment a factor for you when you enrolled?

H/T: Policy Mic, CNN