An unidentified woman walks past Rice University's Lovett Hall, the oldest building on campus, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2001, in Houston. Classes commenced at Rice on Sept. 23, 1912, 12 years after the death of its benefactor, William Marsh Rice. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

For the past few weeks, analysts and commentators have been abuzz about whether or not college is still a wise investment.

It's obvious why many are rethinking such a costly pursuit. Federal and private student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion, according to, and postgraduate unemployment has reached 8.2 percent.

Even the former-Secretary of Education William Bennett expressed concern about the value of a college education.

In his recent book, "Is College Worth It," Bennett suggests it is important to look at a university’s return on investment before putting in an application.

Based on this ROI standard, which determines the ranking of a college by analyzing its 30 year NET return on investment, Bennett claims there are only 150 colleges in America worth their price. That’s 150 out of the 3,500 colleges in the United States.

"Is College Worth It" uses data provided by PayScale's yearly survey that ranks the country’s colleges by their ROI, comparing state schools and private universities as well as in-state and out-of-state tuition.

Of the 150 universities referenced by Bennett, only one is located in Utah: BYU, which comes in at number 84 on the list. Other prominent Utah universities included on PayScale's report are Utah State University (number 225), University of Utah (number 251) and Southern Utah University (number 1,379).

Did your school make the cut?

Find out the top 100 colleges with the highest ROI.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on Email:, Twitter: @johnorjj.