College Graduates Tossing Caps

Sponsored Links:
When choosing a college, it doesn't hurt to consider the potential return on your investment in an education.Getty Images / Dan Kitwood

A college education is a big investment of both time and money. All you can do is choose the right program, work hard, and hope it pays off.

And while students should think long and hard about where they'll be happiest, with average student loan debt hovering around $37,000, students and parents can't afford not to consider earning potential post-graduation, as well.

Sponsored Links:

As it turns out, some schools are doing a much better job of setting their students up for success in the job market than others.

To help students figure out which colleges provide the best monetary return for their alumni, PayScale compiled its 2017 College Return on Investment Report: Best Value Colleges.

All data used to produce PayScale's Return on Investment Package was collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale's employee survey. To calculate the ROI, PayScale looked at the investment in each college, which includes the cost of attending, as calculated by the cost for a graduate in 2016, on and off campus — and then looked at the 20-year return for each college, which is how much a graduate can expect to make over 20 years, minus the price of college.

See the full interactive list here, and keep scrolling for the top 27 colleges for your money. The "total cost" and "20 year ROI" figures are for students who live on campus.