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Best Colleges For High Salaries

Location, prestige, academic reputation, and tuition are major factors for students in the college-selection process, but post-graduation salary is something rarely taken into consideration.

Although salaries depend heavily on a graduate’s field of work, companies are willing to pay a premium for students hailing from the nation’s top universities. But which undergraduate institutions offer the most valuable degrees?

Recently, Payscale.com released a report on the highest salary potential among 1,058 of the nation’s colleges, and from this data colleges and universities can be ranked by the mid-career median salaries of its graduates. For schools with the same mid-career median salaries, starting median salary determines their relative rank. In the case of a tie in this number, the school with the higher starting salary is ranked higher. The ranking considered only people with undergraduate degrees, which ruled out post-graduate degree holders, such as lawyers and medical and pharmacy professionals.

Of the following top 10 highest earning schools, their graduates earn an average of $122,500 at mid-career, which is up nearly 5 percent over last year. As a few points of comparison, the bottom 10 schools’ graduates earn an average of $44,490 at mid-career, and the top party school by salary potential is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a mid-career salary of $95,900.

So, which schools have highest-paid graduates? Click ahead to find out.

By Paul Toscano and Colleen Kane
Updated 27 September 2012

Note: School ranking, enrollment and acceptance rate information is taken from the
U.S. News 2013 College Rankings and Reviews.

Photo: Andrew Paterson | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images