DEGREE FINDER is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

When deciding which college or university to attend, a major factor to consider is if the lifetime earnings you will experience after earning your college degree will make the cost of earning that degree worth it. Otherwise known as Return on Investment (ROI), this performance measure is increasingly being used as a way for top schools to tout their worth.

The schools included in the four regional lists we have compiled and shared here were selected based on their ranking among top public schools by U.S. News and World Report. Each state in the United States appears on one of the four regional lists. Each school was selected based on its status as the highest ranked public school in its state according to U.S. News and World Report's ranking of top national public schools. The schools were then separated by region in order to make it easier for our readers to locate their school, and break down the information so it can be digested on a regional basis, as well as an overall basis.

Ranking Methodology

The universities are ranked on the four regional lists from highest-to-lowest average 30 year net return on investment for in-state students, as reported by PayScale, Inc.

Though the lists are ranked by the average 30 year in-state net return on investment, for information and research purposes the list also includes the 30 year out-of-state net return on investment.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Man working at desk