Student loan debt in the U.S. has skyrocketed over the past decade; at public four-year colleges, the cost of tuition and fees has increased by 17% over the past five years alone.
On-campus amenities and party reputation may be keen considerations for some students, but others have different priorities when choosing a college they may be willing to drown in debt for. Tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings are obvious considerations. Many also look at which colleges seems to deliver the best career and salary after graduation — although the schools ranked as the best in those categories are often some of the most expensive to attend.
A study by SmartAsset, a New York financial technology company, has ranked colleges and universities in the U.S. according to “best value.” It ranked New Jersey’s Princeton University among the top 10 institutions whose graduates earned the best starting salaries. Princeton came in ninth out of 10 with an average starting salary for its graduates of $77,330; SmartAsset says the tuition at Princeton is $50,340. Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California ranks first with an average starting salary of $91,400 and tuition at $56,620.
Princeton University ranks first for best starting salary among graduates of all New Jersey colleges and universities. Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken ranks second with a starting salary of $75,800 and tuition at $52,202.