4.  Stevens Institute of Technology

private college roi stevens institute of technology
  • 20-year return on investment: $948,300
  • Annualized return: 11.5%
  • Total 4-year cost of attendance : $232,000

When Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1870, it offered a single engineering curriculum that produced mechanical engineers.

Today, more than 80% of Stevens students are in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

"Of all the STEM degrees, engineering is the one that rises to the top in salary potential, both at the start of the career and mid-career," said PayScale's Frank.

Stevens also emphasizes career-driven education, connecting students to internships and co-op programs that pay off as jobs right out of school.

According to the school, 94% of students have a job within six months, with an average starting salary of almost $65,000.

First published March 10, 2015: 1:18 PM ET
Source: PayScale
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously said that all Stevens students were required to take core engineering design courses.

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