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The Cheapest, Best Colleges

BuzzFeed crunched the numbers — check out our matrix to find out which colleges provide the best bang for your buck. See where graduates get the highest-paying jobs for the smallest investment in tuition.

Posted on October 22, 2013, at 11:31 a.m. ET

BuzzFeed plotted tuition rates and average starting salaries from PayScale to come up with our best value colleges list. We only looked at out-of-state tuition rates for public schools.

The top-right corner is the place to be, and the bottom-left is the other end of the spectrum. The nine regions are colored accordingly — from the highly desirable green to the sickly looking yellow.

We then weighted both ranks equally and tallied them up for our top 10.

10. WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) / Public Domain

WPI comes in at No. 10 on our list. A bit expensive to attend but it's well worth it since WPI graduates have some of the highest starting salaries in the country.

9. Texas A&M

Aggie0083 / / Creative Commons

Texas A&M comes in at No. 9, with modest starting salaries but low tuition. Definitely a good choice if you're not looking to empty your wallet.

8. Princeton

Quantockgoblin / / Public Domain

Princeton is the only ivy in our top 10 and comes in at No. 8. It's moderately priced compared to some other schools in our matrix and starting salaries are pretty high.

7. Purdue

Purdue is No. 7, ranking well in both starting salary and tuition.

6. CalTech

Claire / / Creative Commons

California Institute of Technology ranked sixth on our list. Tuition is a bit more expensive, but it's well worth it as this school has the highest average starting salary on our list.

5. Virginia Tech

Flickr: givingtovirginiatech / Creative Commons

Virginia Tech begins our top five list. Relatively cheap tuition and decent starting salaries place VT at No. 5.

4. Cal (UC Berkeley)

Flickr: wallyg / Creative Commons

Cal comes in ranked at No. 4. The cheapest school in our top 10 also ranks above average in the starting salary category.

3. Michigan Tech

Michigan Technological University Photo Services / / Creative Commons

Michigan Tech is No. 3 with fairly low tuition and high starting salaries. This is a pretty good choice.

2. Georgia Tech

Gary Meek /

Georgia Tech is our No. 2 with high starting salaries and a moderately priced tuition.

1. NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

At the top of our list is NJIT. This school has the third lowest tuition on the matrix and combines that with high starting salaries, making it our No. 1.

And here are the next 40 in case you're wondering where your school stands...

11. MIT; 12. Illinois; 13. Stevens; 14. Rice; 15. Stanford; 16. UMass; 17. BYU; 18. Drexel; 19. Lehigh; 20. Rutgers; 21. Minnesota; 22. Case Western; 23. Michigan; 24. Seton Hall; 25. Penn State; 26. Wisconsin; 27. Tulsa; 28. Notre Dame; 29. Cornell; 30. RPI; 31. Illinois Tech; 32. Maryland; 33. Widener; 34. Ohio State; 35. Georgetown; 36. Carnegie Mellon; 37. Texas; 38. UPenn; 39. Northeastern; 40. UVA; 41. UCLA; 42. Harvard; 43. Duke; 44. UConn; 45 Florida; 46. Johns Hopkins; 47. Wash U; 48. Brown; 49. Columbia; 50. Dartmouth.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.