Tuition and student debt levels are soaring. So which schools provide the best return on your investment? These five topped Payscale's list.
People with a bachelor's degree from Harvey Mudd College typically earn millions more in their lifetime than high school graduates, according to a report by PayScale, a website that tracks pay data.
The average high school graduate earns around $1.2 million in 34 to 36 years of work, Payscale found. Harvey Mudd grads can expect to earn $2.2 million more than that in the 30 years after graduation -- even after the average cost of attendance and lost years of income during college are taken into account. That means the school offers the best return on investment of the more than 1,000 colleges and universities Payscale looked at.
A private college in Claremont, Calif., Harvey Mudd is especially popular with engineering majors, who tend to score well-paying jobs right out of school, said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale. Its liberal arts curriculum also is well-regarded, she said.
"Critical thinking is a top skill for graduates there, which makes them successful in all fields, not just engineering," Bardaro said.