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Georgia Tech: The Country's Best Academic Deal

Many Tech students concentrate on science-oriented disciplines such as engineering and software design and those fields have remained strong for post-graduate job opportunities

A recent study showed the Georgia Institute of Technology is offering the best academic deal in the United States.

Georgia Tech’s class of 2009 paid almost $88,000 for their four-year degrees, but the median income for those grads was $59,000, which is 67 percent of what they paid for.

That put Tech tops in the country according to a study conducted by Smartmoney Magazine. Many Tech students concentrate on science-oriented disciplines such as engineering and software design and those field have remained strong for post-graduate job opportunities.

As a public school, Tech students also have access to taxpayer funds and HOPE scholarship money to help offset the high cost of tuition.

The University of Georgia ranked fourth on the list as 2009 UGA grads paid less than $78,000 for their four-year degrees and earned a median salary of slightly more than $41,000.

According to SmartMoney, in the last two decades, the cost of college tuition has nearly tripled after accounting for inflation. To see how that investment is paying off at 50 of the country’s most expensive schools, SmartMoney looked at two groups of alumni: recent grads, out for three years, and midcareer alums, out 15 years. The Payback Score is an average of those groups' current income, expressed as a percentage of their sticker-price tuition and fees. The top 50 schools are included in the attached PDF.

Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that the total student-loan debt in the country had skyrocketed to more than $900 billion, making the SmartMoney Payback Score rankings by Georgia Tech and Georgia even more impressive.

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