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Mar 26, 2014 02:56 PM EDT

Top 10 Public Colleges With the Best Returns on Investment

Colorado School of Mines
(Photo : Facebook/Colorado School of Mines) Colorado School of Mines

With the price of college being so high, it has become more important for families to spend their money on a school that will give them a solid return on investment (ROI).

According to a new report from Pay Scale, the best schools in the nation are some of the most expensive. For example, Harvey Mudd, Caltech, MIT and Stanford might cost more than $200,000 for four years, but graduates end up making six figure salaries fairly quickly.

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Those were the four top rated schools in terms of 20-year net ROI, meaning the total income a graduate earns after 20 years of work minus what they spent on school. Schools like those also have very high graduation rates, but are extremely selective.

Here are the top 10 public schools for a 20-year net ROI.

1. Colorado School of Mines

2013 cost: $114,200

20-year net ROI: $783,400

Annual ROI: 11.0%

Graduation Rate: 67%

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

2013 cost: $92,250

20-year net ROI: $755,600

Annual ROI: 11.9%

Graduation Rate: 79%

3. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

2013 cost: $96,560

20-year net ROI: $702,100

Annual ROI: 11.3%

Graduation Rate: 61%

4. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

2013 cost: $90,330

20-year net ROI: $664,400

Annual ROI: 11.4%

Graduation Rate: 55%

5. Missouri University of Science and Technology

2013 cost: $98,170

20-year net ROI: $661,000

Annual ROI: 10.9%

Graduation Rate: 65%

6. University of California - Berkeley

2013 cost: $133,900

20-year net ROI: $654,400

Annual ROI: 9.4%

Graduation Rate: 91%

7. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

2013 cost: $103,600

20-year net ROI: $611,700

Annual ROI: 10.3%

Graduation Rate: 72%

8. New Jersey Institute of Technology

2013 cost: $137,700

20-year net ROI: $588,500

Annual ROI: 8.8%

Graduation Rate: 54%

9. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

2013 cost: $76,410

20-year net ROI: $588,400

Annual ROI: 11.6%

Graduation Rate: 47%

10. Texas A&M University

2013 cost: $91,040

20-year net ROI: $566,700

Annual ROI: 10.6%

Graduation Rate: 80%

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