Harvard University is famously the best college in the United States, perhaps in the world. Part of that fame rests on the scholarship of its professors, the quality of its programs, and the life-broadening experience of living in Boston, one of America's more civilized cities.

That being said, most people nowadays attend college with the general understanding that since they're spending huge amounts of money (or incurring huge debts), it's reasonable to expect to get a decent job once they graduate.

This is not always the case, as the millions of college graduates living in their parents' basement can attest, alas.

Anyway, if you're thinking that attending Harvard is a nearly-sure ticket to employment upon graduation, you're right. Fully 86.1 percent of Harvard graduates are employed within a year of graduation. according to data compiled by Theknowledgeacademy.com. 

However, there are seven colleges with an even better track record:

  1. University of Chicago (93.9 percent)
  2. University of Pennsylvania (93.2 percent)
  3. University of California, Los Angeles (92.8 percent)
  4. Princeton University (89.8 percent)
  5. University of California, Berkeley (89.2 percent)
  6. Arizona State University (88.4 percent)
  7. New York University (87.5 percent)
  8. Harvard University (86.1 percent)

So, you may be thinking that the difference between those post-graduate employment rates isn't all that significant, but a very different picture appears when you factor in how much those eight schools cost for a four-year degree:

  1. University of Chicago ($302,940)
  2. University of Pennsylvania ($286,860)
  3. Harvard University ($270,320)
  4. Princeton University ($264,600)
  5. New York University ($207,312)
  6. University of California, Berkeley ($158,064)
  7. University of California, Los Angeles ($135,604)
  8. Arizona State University ($110,120)

As you can see, if you attend Arizona State, you'll spend almost $160,200 less than if you attend Harvard, and you'll graduate with an even better chance of being employed. Of course you won't get the life-broadening experience in Phoenix that you'd get in Boston.

On the other hand, you can buy a whole lot of life-broadening with an extra $160,200, eh?