Best colleges for the price

tech.0824 4 (Large)As we start wrapping up the current school year, rising seniors will look forward to (or put off) filling out college applications this fall. And while choosing the right education has layers and layers of variables, Bloomberg’s Best Colleges for Return on Investment is, at the very least, thought-provoking.

The best return on investment for Georgia? Georgia Tech, at $79,140 total cost for in-state education and $157,600 out-of-state.

Bear in mind that this article focuses on how much money a graduate will make for the amount spent. It doesn’t take into account where family allegiances lie, what your family can actually afford or which colleges are geographically desirable for your student.

It also means you might not see colleges mentioned with excellent degrees in traditionally lower-paying professions. If you’re a follow-your-passion kind of person, the (financial) return on investment won’t mean much to you.

Which schools do you think have the best ROI? What are the important factors in your student’s college decision?

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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172 comments Add your comment

Browncoat

April 13th, 2011
6:53 am

And what school would that be first in in Georgia? Why Georgia Tech, of course.

sad

April 13th, 2011
7:05 am

UGA would be on there if McDonalds would raise their wages :(

BigDawg

April 13th, 2011
7:39 am

I work for Tyson and make a pretty good salary as a level 3 manager….indeed likely as much as 50% of the Tech grads.

270mark

April 13th, 2011
7:39 am

Georgia Tech. But that doesn’t include the personal security detail. So UGA is the best.

j

April 13th, 2011
7:53 am

Tech grads hate Uga with a passion and that’s all they talk about.
Most Uga grads don’t even notice Tech is there.

Panther2013

April 13th, 2011
7:56 am

Well I am happy Georgia State made the followup list! Yay! With the crime surrounding Georgia Tech I would be nervous to attend.

Yeah

April 13th, 2011
8:08 am

Crime sucks but it’s no better for GSU students. And how many girls at UGA have been raped lately? Most of the crime at GT occurs late a night when someone is walking to Home Park alone…..bad idea. I hate it for the kids but they need to use a little more common sense.

Sarah

April 13th, 2011
8:09 am

I have never quite understood the college rivalry bit – Emory, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, and Georgia State are all excellent schools, right? I grew up in California, however, not in Georgia.

My own alma mater, UCLA, did not make the list for Cali, sadly. The school I wanted to attend, Caltech, made the best return-of-investment for Cali, which I suppose makes sense (though Caltech has a fairly low acceptance rate and a relatively small undergraduate student body, so I guess that goes with the article’s caveat). When I went to college, it was either go to Caltech and leave with massive debt or go to UCLA for free. That very much affected my decision. I think my return-of-investment there has been adequate, in spite of my school’s absence from the list.

GT Student

April 13th, 2011
8:27 am

They’ve done a lot to combat the crime since the increase in incidents last year. (Knock on wood) There hasn’t been many incidents last year. You can’t go anywhere without seeing at least two GTPD or APD officers. I never feel unsafe ON campus, and rarely do off campus. I’m a 20 year old girl, and I’m moving off campus next year. I wish GT could lose this stigma. I’m not sure how you can consider Midtown less safe than Downtown..

Lori

April 13th, 2011
11:54 am

What’s the Good Word???

Kennesaw Grad

April 13th, 2011
11:54 am

Kennesaw State deserves and honorable mention in the ROI catagory. Tuition is a lot cheaper that UGA & GT (KSU is not an engeneering school) and the interns I get from KSU are guaranteed hires as opposed to the UGA grads who have no work experience and don’t want a job after they graduate. KSU may not be as highly branded as UGA GSU or GT but as far as education goes, it is on the mark.

Ben Leigh

April 13th, 2011
11:56 am

It might be a good value but they are still nerds at GA Tech. NERDS NERDS NERDS NERDS

Chuck

April 13th, 2011
11:57 am

Engineers make good money right out of school, bottom line.

An engineer that walks out of Southern Polytechnic will probably out-earn a writer right out of Oxford.

By Tech grad math that means Southern Polytechnic > Harvard

Ahh, nerds…

GSUEAGLE

April 13th, 2011
11:58 am

What about Georgia Southern?

Heather near Atlanta

April 13th, 2011
11:59 am

The University of West Georgia in Carrollton (west of Atlanta, almost to Alabama) has been great for my son, small classes but challenging, and excellent restaurants for when we go over to visit! And very affordable. Did you know the UWG debate team is ranked third in the nation, behind Harvard and Northwestern?

gbrownie

April 13th, 2011
12:00 pm

ah ha take that Georgia.

USNEWS

April 13th, 2011
12:01 pm

Well, UGA was top 5 on US News & World Report’s best bargain Universities. Where was the article on the AJC regarding that?

G5

April 13th, 2011
12:05 pm

USNEWS the reason UGA got top 5 best bargain university is because most students live in trailer parks and there diet is real cheap stuff. Like road kill, possums, and coons. You might be a redneck if you drive around with a G on your front bumper.

Future RATS!!!

April 13th, 2011
12:06 pm

Well, this makes my decision to attend GT in the fall even better! In all seriousness though, I am quite looking forward to the opportunity to attend GT simply for the fact that they are such a strong engineering school. And to see a label like this certainly encourages me!

DC

April 13th, 2011
12:09 pm

Why does it always seem that when someone talks about UWG on here it sounds like someone that works for the university….anyway…I loved UWG, but hate the city..its so boring and nothing to do..don’t let that other poster fool you..there isn’t much of anything to eat around the town…ya we have restaurants…who doesnt?

On a more positive note, UWG is ranked #2 Business college behind Ga state. I would highly recommend going there if thats your field..get good education without paying high fees at State. That is all.

gous

April 13th, 2011
12:09 pm

@kennesaw grad. way to prove your point by mis-spelling “engineering”….probably why ya’ll aren’t on the list…

evansdawg

April 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

‘j’ is right. Techies are obsessed with hating UGA and UGA fans hardly think of them. Even the ‘rivalry’ means less to UGA fans than to Tech fans. When Tech wins, they party like they’ve won the NC. When UGA wins, its like we beat Vandy. We are supposed to. Sorry…but thats a fact. Personally, my degree from UGA has been quite good to me. Plus, I get to go to Athens on a football Saturday. Who wants to go to Atlanta to watch college football???

Matt the Brave

April 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

Heather near Atlanta, I’m glad that your son is having a good time at UWG, but did you know they have one of the worst 4-year graduation rates in the country? I know from personal experience that there were many times where either I or friends of mine had courses change magically and then we had to take extra courses. Word of warning here…

Bryan G.

April 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

Georgia Tech is an even better value when you consider that you don’t have to waste your time seeing any hot girls.

Michael

April 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

@Lori “to hell with ga!”

Wally

April 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

Ramblin' Jacket

April 13th, 2011
12:11 pm

Yo Chickin Boy (aka Big Dawg). I doubt that you are making much more than this year’s GT grads. Parts is parts. Are you on the kill line or a de-beaker?

The Guy from NORTH AVE

April 13th, 2011
12:12 pm

“Ben Leigh”, how do you find time for such posts working 20 hours at Taco Bell and 20 plus at Wal Mart per week? Spend your time more wisely you DUFUS.

GT mom

April 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

As the mom of 2 women attending Tech I can say I am not worried about their safety. They both stay away from the areas OFF campus that can be issues LATE at night. Academics at Tech are far superior to any other University in Ga, including the extremely expensive Emory. A degree from GT means something outside of Ga. They are ranked 4th in the nation in science/math Universities academically, not just because it is a bargain.

462 JC Camp Student Center

April 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

Sarah, the whole college rivalry thing is a result of physically grown men who can’t seem to grow up mentally or emotionally.

jd

April 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

We’ve reduced the value of knowledge to a pay check. The gods of mammon win.

DT

April 13th, 2011
12:15 pm

It’s funny when you hear the term “Nerds” as a bad word. I would think its much better than the cool people that only care about sports or cheerleading.

Majority of “cool” and “popular” folks that graduate with me now live a boring life living check to check, a lot of them are fat and out of shape.

All the nerds that were made fun of, now own their own business or hold high paying jobs.

I wish I would have been a nerd in high school or college

southern opinion

April 13th, 2011
12:16 pm

Just curious -
What is the best, fastest, and cheapest way to get secondary education and a job?
My son has a degree in communication and can’t find a job.

Kivrin

April 13th, 2011
12:18 pm

Only one GA school made the list b/c the list only includes one school per state.

Kivrin

April 13th, 2011
12:18 pm

(By the way, in my previous comment, I was referring to the misleading headline on the homepage: “Only 1 Georgia school…”)

GT- not my pick

April 13th, 2011
12:18 pm

Walmart is also the best value on clothes …….but who brags about shopping there? The best institutions take young students, prepare them and send them out into the world in better shape than they arrived. You should check out North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega. This school has an impressive group of Alums and is the right size to give each student the opportunity to achieve. The military program can currently boast more active duty Generals than any other school, other than West Point. Beauty (and value) are in the eye of the beholder.

G5

April 13th, 2011
12:18 pm

@Bryan G. what’s wrong with seeing some hot boys. Girls will eventually realize that it’s slim pickings at UGA. You’ve got rednecks, rejects, and future ditch diggers to choose from. Well I guess I can’t blame all those UGA girls they just want somebody just like daddy.

Nick

April 13th, 2011
12:19 pm

What happens when the HOPE scholarship is factored in? When UGA becomes tuition free it’s hard to argue against it.

SFH

April 13th, 2011
12:19 pm

Everyone who has ever hired (and fired) a Tech grad is laughing right now.

Mercer

April 13th, 2011
12:20 pm

And why isn’t Mercer on this list?? LOL To heck with West Georgia. I have plenty of classmates who went there and transferred to Mercer because the school just stinks. UGA and Georgia Southern are just plain party schools. Good for Ga State and Ga Tech though. Even though they are both located in the ghetto…..

Hornet

April 13th, 2011
12:21 pm

What about Southern Polytechnic? GA Tech created the school in 1948. Most SPSU grads end up MANAGING GA Tech grads. Manager make more money (durr). I’m surprised (sarcasm) such a well known school made the list above the HUNDREDS of other colleges out there. Stupid lists… No one truly cares where you drank your early 20’s away. I’m just glad that Emory’s pretentious @$$ didn’t make another redundant list.

Tech Man

April 13th, 2011
12:24 pm

Of course UGA grads will always have job security. Hourly workers are always in demand.

GT mom

April 13th, 2011
12:24 pm

My brother went to GT and then Mercer Medical school. He never had security issue at GT, however, he stopped even putting his rag top on his car in Macon after it was slashed so many times. He just got a stereo that popped out and it went into his locker at the hospital. Macon is just as bad as Atlanta, but without the fun.

bigdawg1

April 13th, 2011
12:24 pm

It’s amazing to hear “I’m a ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech” sung in an Indian/Asian accent!

TechMan

April 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

Hey J, Understandable, Tech grads are usually on a higher floor.

ManUp...

April 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

This has nothing to do with college rivarly. If a school doesn’t make the list, it’s because your net cost of attending versus your forecasted earnings in 5 and 10 years does not stack up when applied to the average net return on ivestments in your state over the same amount of time. So if you absolutely need your red and black then no one will stop you from going to Athens, but if you’re on the fence and studying something both schools offer (Business, Economics, etc.) then it might be of note to you that Tech offers a much higher average starting salary than any school in the state. Regardless what the Dawg fans will say about it, visit the campus and see for yourself that GT is a traditional Southern college with a technological side. You can find the party crowd (and, yes, the girls) if you want or you can stay in your dorm and play video games. That is no different than GA, Bama, Auburn, or any other big Southern university. The difference is you’ll work you rhind parts off to earn your way to that starting salary.

My recommendation: check out Georgia Tech, but never expect to be a slacker. GT can be anything you want it to be – nerdy or Southern fratty, fun or serious, etc. To get the highest ROI for any school, and especially Tech, I recommend joining a fraternity (don’t pick an animal house), win an elected student office in SGA, and work internships in the summers. It served me and my friends very well, and the social experiences offset the academic rigors.

Go Jackets!

TECH4EVER

April 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

It isn’t much of a rivalry when it comes to academics. UGA is not even in the same league when it comes to academics!! Call us whatever you want, this just confirms we made the right choice when making a school choice, others… not so much.

How did that tricky math question of yours went? How many points do you score with a 3-point basket? You’re a JOKE

commoncents

April 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

KSU Grad – “the interns I get from KSU are guaranteed hires as opposed to the UGA grads who have no work experience and don’t want a job after they graduate”

Sounds like you have positions available that no one wants if the students who are any good want nothing to do with your company.

DC

April 13th, 2011
12:25 pm

Mercer, your friends didn’t transfer to from UWG to Mercer b/c the school stinks but rather they wanted to get their core done with and transfer to another school that has what they are going to major in…I know a BUNCH of tech kids and Mercer kids who have done that at UWG…save money..and easier to get in.

GT mom

April 13th, 2011
12:26 pm

Seriously, SPTU? LOL, that is for the Tech flunk outs.