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ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Central Washington University alumni are among those getting the most out of their degrees compared to graduates of other state universities.

That’s according to a Payscale.com survey that ranked Central among the top state colleges for the value of their degrees. The report was based on average income earned by alumni over the past 20 years.

“It’s hard to find a better value for your tuition dollar than at Central Washington University,” according to Payscale.com.  

In making the determination, Payscale.com divided the average income of alumni by the average cost of what they paid for their degree. In financial terms, this is called “return on investment.”

In Washington, Central had the third-best return on investment, behind the University of Washington Seattle and Bothell campuses.  

Three of the university’s academic departments — business, education, and social work and criminal justice — were ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation for their earning power,  according to the university.