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9 universities that give you the most bang for your buck

The Street logo The Street 22-02-2016 Laurie Kulikowski

9 Universities That Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck© TheStreet 9 Universities That Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck

Looking for a quality secondary education that will lead to a good-paying job after graduation -- but without the high price tag that often accompanies it?

TheStreet has compiled a list of large universities whose students garner the highest salaries after graduation.

TheStreet found the big universities with the highest-paid graduates by using the College Scorecard tool, a data-rich Web site launched in September by the Obama Administration that is open to the public.

The tool allows users to screen schools by a variety of factors, comparing more than 7,000 higher-education institutions based on size, pricing, degrees, graduation rates and salary after graduation and more. The Web site does not attempt to rank schools. The data is based on students who have received a federal loan or grant to attend college, according to The New York Times.

To find the big colleges whose students have the highest salaries after graduation, TheStreet chose to use parameters of colleges that have more than 15,000 students, annual costs below the average of $16,000 and an annual salary after attending of more than $54,000. (The median household income as of 2014 is $53,482, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.)

The tool considers average annual cost as the annual net price for students who get financial aid, after aid from the school, state or federal government is applied. For public schools, the annual cost is the average cost for in-state students. As well, salary after attending is the median earnings of former students who received financial aid at 10 years after entering the school.

The information is from both the College Scorecard as well as school data. Click through to see which schools made the list and get packing for a visit.

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9. University of Delaware - Newark, Del.

  • 18,353 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $15,998
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $54,300

The University of Delaware is one of the oldest universities in the country. Approximately 79% of students who attend the University of Delaware earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

The University of Delaware's most popular programs of study are business, management, marketing and related support services, the social sciences, health professions and related programs, education and engineering, according to the College Scorecard.

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8. San Jose State University - San Jose, Calif.

  • 26,664 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $13,794
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $54,600

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley and a top school for tech-talent hiring by some of the country's biggest technology companies, San Jose State University is the founding school of the 23 campus California State University system (not to be confused with the University of California system). It is also the oldest public school on the West Coast.

San Jose State University has a large Asian American and Hispanic student population.

Approximately 71% of students who attend San Jose State University earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, according to the College Scorecard. More than a quarter of its students choose business, management, marketing and related support services as their primary area of study. Other popular academic programs at the university include health professions and related programs, visual and performing arts, and engineering, the College Scorecard data said.

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7. Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, N.Y.

  • 16,831 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $13,438
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $55,500

Stony Brook University is part of the State University of New York system. The university is heavily invested in the medical and research fields. Stony Brook operates a large teaching hospital, Stony Brook Hospital. It also co-manages the Brookhaven National Laboratory and owns a research and development park.

As a result, the school's two most popular academic programs are health professions and related areas as well as biological and biomedical sciences. Nearly one-third of its students choose one of these areas of study. Another 24% choose the social sciences and psychology as areas of study, according to the College Scorecard.

Approximately 71% of students who attend Stony Brook University earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

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6. University of California, Irvine - Irvine, Calif.

  • 23,517 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $11,944
  • Graduation Rate: 86%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $55,800

The University of California, Irvine, is one of the 10 campuses for the University of California system (not to be confused with California State University group). UC Irvine is one of the original schools considered a Public Ivy by Richard Moll, who coined the term in the mid-1980s. Moll refers to schools that provide an Ivy League worthy education for the price of a public institution.

Approximately 69% of students who attend University of California, Irvine earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

The school's two most popular academic programs are the social sciences and biological and biomedical sciences, with more than one-third of students choosing those areas to study. Another 11% focus their studies in psychology, approximately 11% choose business-related fields and 9% choose engineering, according to the College Scorecard.

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5. University of California, Davis - Davis, Calif.

  • 28,384 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $15,054
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $57,100

The University of California, Davis, is the largest (based on land acres) campus in the University of California system that is known for its doctoral research with strong medical programs and other research. UC Davis a top-ranking school, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Approximately 70% of students who attend University of California, Davis earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

Like its Irvine sister, UC Davis' two most popular academic programs are biological and biomedical sciences and the social sciences, with nearly 40% of students choosing those areas to study. Another 10% focus their studies in psychology, approximately 9% choose engineering, while 5% of students choose agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences to study, according to the College Scorecard.

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4. Brigham Young University - Provo, Utah

  • 29,672 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $13,070
  • Graduation Rate: 78%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $57,400

Brigham Young University, named after the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The school is owned and operated by the religious group, and most of its students are members of the LDS church.

Approximately 66% of students who attend Brigham Young earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

Brigham Young's most popular academic programs are business, management and marketing studies as well as biological and biomedical sciences. Other areas students choose to focus in include education, health professions and the social sciences, with nearly 40% of students choosing those areas to study, according to the College Scorecard.

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3. University of California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles 

  • 29,585 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $13,723
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $59,200

The University of California, Los Angeles, is the second oldest campus in the UC system. UCLA as it is commonly known made headlines earlier this year when it announced a record number of applications for the fall 2016 semester. It is the most applied to four-year university in the nation, according to the school's Web site.

Approximately 72% of students who attend UCLA earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

UCLA's most popular academic programs are the social sciences, with one-quarter of students choosing this field of study. Also, 16% of students are focusing studies in the biological and biomedical sciences areas. Other areas students choose to focus in include psychology, engineering and history, according to the College Scorecard.

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2. University of California, San Diego - San Diego, Calif. 

  • 26,590 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $14,421
  • Graduation Rate: 86%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $59,600

The University of California, San Diego, is a top-ranking institution, according to the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Approximately 71% of students who attend UCSD earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

UCSD's two most popular academic programs are the social sciences and the biological and biomedical sciences areas, with 40% of the student body choosing these fields of study. Other areas of interest include engineering, psychology and multi-disciplinary studies, according to the College Scorecard.

9 Universities That Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck© TheStreet 9 Universities That Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck

1. University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley, Calif. 

  • 25,951 Undergraduates
  • Average Annual Cost: $13,769
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Average Salary After Attending: $62,700

University of California, Berkeley, the flagship campus and the oldest of the UC system, wins the top spot for large universities with the best bang for your buck. The institution has received high honors in numerous rankings regarding higher education (particularly for its sciences and engineering programs). The school is ranked No. 4 in the world by the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, among other notable rankings.

Approximately 74% of students who attend UC Berkeley earn, on average, more than those with just a high school diploma, the College Scorecard data said.

UC Berkeley's most popular academic program is the social sciences. Students also focus their studies on engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences areas, the English language and literature, and multi-disciplinary studies, according to the College Scorecard.

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