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The top 10 schools that will bring you the highest salary at the lowest tuition

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Alums of these US universities are rolling in cash!

CNBC looked at the nation’s top 10 performing schools, a ranking based on some very specific metrics -- the median income earning power of graduates 10 years after graduating being one of them. This number is measured against the cost of enrollment, because it helps to shed light on the value of the education at a particular school, a kind of return on investment (ROI), according to CNBC.

In other words, if “the median Princeton graduate makes about $14,000 less than the median MIT grad” but also paid, on average, “about a third as much to attend,” then Princeton offers greater value. Princeton graduates remain competitive in high income earnings precisely because, after accounting for aid and other financial support, they spend less annually on their education.

Here is the list of the nationally top-ranking colleges (in ascending order of the earnings of their graduates) generated by the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard:

10. University of Chicago

National University Ranking: 3
Average annual cost: $25,883
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $65,500

9. California Institute of Technology

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National University Ranking: 10
Average annual cost: $24,760
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $74,200

8. Duke University

National University Ranking: 9
Average annual cost: $34,137
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,900

7. Columbia University

National University Ranking: 5
Average annual cost: $21,031
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $78,200

6. Princeton University

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National University Ranking: 1
Average annual cost: $8,848
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $80,500

5. University of Pennsylvania

National University Ranking: 8
Average annual cost: $25,225
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $82,400

4. Yale University

National University Ranking: 3 (TIE)
Average annual cost: $20,910
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $83,200

3. Stanford University

National University Ranking: 5 (TIE)
Average annual cost: $13,857
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $85,700

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2. Harvard University

National University Ranking: 2
Average annual cost: $17,882
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $90,900

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National University Ranking: 5 (TIE)
Average annual cost: $22,968
Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $94,200

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