School daze: The cost of America's top colleges & universities

It's no surprise Harvard University tops The Wall Street Journal's annual list of America's top colleges but the price of attending the elite institutions is a shocker.  The mind-boggling numbers leave may many parents and students wondering is it worth it?

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    Out of the full list of more than 800 U.S. colleges and universities, the schools that ranked highest are generally wealthier institutions with low student-faculty rations and generous financial aid, according to the Journal.

    Fox Business compared the price tag to attend the highest rated universities versus what the Journal says graduates can expect to earn a decade later.

    So was it worth the cost?

    According to statistics obtained by the Journal, MIT graduates made the most money of the Top 5 schools ten years later averaging $96,033. 

    MIT grads also expressed the highest satisfaction with 92 percent saying it was money well spent.

    SATISFACTION RESULTS:

    • Harvard 87%
    • MIT: 92 % 
    • Yale: 88% 
    • UPenn 75%
    • Caltech 83%
    • Princeton 89%

    Of the top schools, MIT graduates also had the highest amount of debt after graduation at $17,7125.

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    The survey analyzed multiple factors including academic environment, student engagement, career opportunities or return on investment in order to determine the best place to go to school.  Most of the schools on the list, that ranked highest are generally wealthier institutions with low student-faculty ratios and generous financial aid, according to the Journal.

    This year’s rankings took surveys of 174,000 students into account, according to the Journal. Within the survey, students were asked questions including whether they feel inspired and motivated by their classmates and whether they felt their college was worth the price tag and if they started over, would they go to the same school.