College financial outcomes
UVA ranks high on this list. Especially for in-state students. From Derek Thompson, writing in The Atlantic.
A Bachelor of Science from Harvey Mudd College, the small California science and engineering school, is the most valuable college degree in America.
Stanford's computer science program pays off more than any single major in the country.
For the best dollar-for-dollar investment, nothing beats the University of Virginia.
As those three (all true) facts illustrate, there are many ways to answer the question What's the most valuable college education in the country? Every year PayScale, the largest private tracker of U.S. salaries, tries to answer the question. This year they released their findings in an elegant site that you can play with here. They also shared their hard data with The Atlantic, which we used to do some further calculations.
Before the candy, some methodological veggies. The challenge of putting together any study like this is that it's devilishly difficult to measure the cost and benefit of college. Start with cost, which is the time and money it takes to finish school. Colleges advertise their sticker price, but about half the students at many elite colleges get grants. Without financial aid, four years at Stanford University costs $236,000, making it one of the 10 most expensive colleges in America. But the "weighted net cost," factoring in grant aid and time to graduation, of going to Stanford is more like $74,000. For my purposes, I'm interested in net cost, not sticker price.