Sonoma State University is 45th on a new list of 62 California colleges ranked by greatest lifetime return on investment.
The analysis by AffordableCollegesOnline.org, or AC Online, looked at 767 colleges to arrive at its rankings.
SSU was found to have a return on investment of $546,000 on annual tuition of $5,472. That return is a person's lifetime earnings as a result of earning a college degree minus the cost of getting the degree.
The tuition doesn't include housing costs.
AC Online, which collects information about college costs and financial aid, used data from the Carnegie Foundation, the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data Systems and PayScale, an online salary information firm.
A Payscale report that looked at 1,511 public and private colleges said SSU had a 30-year net return on investment of 6.6 percent.
For more information go to www.affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/california.