Let’s be clear: there are plenty of reasons beyond job prospects to attend college. Let’s also be clear that college costs a fortune, so the potential return of that fortune invested needs to be part of the consideration whether to attend. You could, after all, cobble together a set of experiences comparable to the “college experience”– lectures, reading, travel, work experience, living in close quarters with lots of other people– on your own for a fraction of the cost.

Payscale.com’s College ROI report attempts to quantify the value of different degrees from different institutions, with the goal of helping parents and prospective students understand what they might get out of a five- to six-figure investment in a particular school. With acceptance letters coming soon, now is a great time to take a look.