I’ve always been an advocate of the cheapest route to college tuition in New Jersey: Two years of community college and two years at another institution for a bachelor’s degree. I feel that unless a kid knows exactly what he or she wants to do and is certain that a bachelor’s degree is required to do it, than a four-year college degree can be a very poor investment.

But here are some things to consider. If you are planning to take the plunge — take a mortgage, take a loan or spend your last dollar of savings on a four-year college degree, you’re gonna want to make sure that it’s worth it. Some New Jersey schools may be more worth it then others. Return on investment — or ROI — is a big selling point these days when it comes to college, especially in New Jersey, where colleges are so prohibitively expensive that it’s almost impossible to attend one without a huge chunk of scholarships or financial aid money. That’s why colleges in New Jersey have to be a real investment. They have to really pay off in order for them to be worth the $200,000 or so it may cost to go there to one.

Last year, NJ.com released a list of the colleges that give you the highest ROI — meaning the places from where graduates tend to earn the most. According to the article, they based it on tax return data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education on earnings after college of students who received federal financial aid, starting 10 years after a student enrolls — so these salary figures represent the median annual earnings approximately six years after graduation. One caveat, as noted in the article, is that science, engineering, technology and health careers tend to be more lucrative, so schools with more graduates in those fields will show higher earnings.

Obviously, the 2020 rankings would not be available as of yet so this list is as of May 2019. Although the article lists the 35 colleges from which graduates earn the most. I’ve only listed the top few here. For the complete list, click here.


5. Rutgers University
Public four-year college

4. The College of New Jersey
Public four-year college

3. New Jersey Institute of Technology
Public four-year college

2. Princeton University
Private four-year college

1. Stevens Institute of Technology
Private four-year college

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

How NJ colleges are adapting to COVID-19

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM