The 20 states with the best college ROI

Colleges in Wyoming generate the largest return on investment (ROI) for their students, according to a study by Student Loan Hero.

To create the ranking, Student Loan Hero used wage and educational attainment data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Researchers pulled data related to college costs from a previous Student Loan Hero study that was based on tuition data from the Department of Education. Finally, researchers calculated ROI by estimating the difference between wages of someone with only a high school diploma versus someone with a bachelor's degree over the course of five years.

Here are the states with colleges that have the highest ROI over five years, according to Student Loan Hero:

  1. Wyoming, 203%
  2. New Mexico, 151%
  3. Arkansas, 120%
  4. Texas, 114%
  5. Georgia, 105%
  6. Arizona, 102%
  7. California, 102%
  8. Alabama, 96%
  9. Alaska, 95%
  10. Montana, 92%
  11. New Jersey, 85%
  12. Mississippi, 84%
  13. Maryland, 82%
  14. Louisiana, 81%
  15. Washington, 80%
  16. Hawaii, 75%
  17. Virginia, 72%
  18. North Carolina, 71%
  19. North Dakota, 69%
  20. Michigan, 66%

Wyoming also scored high on other recent higher education lists. A report in March from McKinsey & Company rated Wyoming as the No. 4 state for higher education in America. Wyoming also appeared on a January list of the four states with the lowest public tuition for in-state and out-of-state students from website Trade-schools.net that compared data from the College Board (Kirkham, Student Loan Hero ranking, accessed 7/18).

How ROI concerns are affecting students' enrollment decisions


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