A new report containing analysis from the online salary database Payscale ranked several New Jersey colleges and universities among the top 250 nationwide in return on investment -- helping to answer the question, "Is college worth it?"

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The report compares the total cost of school, including tuition, supplies, and room and board, to the salaries earned over the 20 years following graduation.

Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken boasted the best showing, No. 9, with a total 2013 cost of $250,900 and a 20-year ROI of $722,400. Other list-worthy institutions in New Jersey include Princeton University, The College of New Jersey (in-state tuition), Seton Hall University, and Bloomfield College among others.

While he couldn't vouch for Payscale's methodology, Paul Shelly with the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities said it's nice to see a solid representation by the Garden State. According to Shelly, numerous reports have proven that a college degree tends to pave a path of higher salaries.

"The big picture is you're much better off economically as a result of college education," Shelly said.

That's no guarantee, though, Shelly noted. The state and country are full of underemployed college grads.

He also pointed to the non-economic benefits of a college-level education, including a healthier lifestyle and career satisfaction.

"A lot of how well you do in your career has to do with your individual personality, and your effort and your talent," Shelly added.