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Students walk through the Warren College and Moore College area at Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Nashville.

Sometimes the most valuable purchases also cost the most. SmartAsset ranked colleges in Tennessee and found Vanderbilt was both the most expensive and the most valuable based upon superior starting salaries for its graduates.

1. Vanderbilt University in Nashville, $42,978 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $57,300

2. Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, $7,063 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $50,800.

3. Christian Brothers University in Memphis, $28,210 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $42,400.

4. The University of Tennessee — Knoxville, $11,194 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $45,300

5. Tennessee State University in Nashville, $6,498 for tuition and starting salary for gads averaging $45,100.

6. University of Memphis, $8,312 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $43,900

7. Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, $23,696 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $44,500.

8. Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, $19,790 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $45,000.

9. Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, $7,546 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $41,600

10. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, $7,554 for tuition and starting salary for grads averaging $41,000.

Source: SmartAsset second annual Best Value Colleges study.

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