The College Debt Crisis - Special Report

Colleges That Bring the Highest Paycheck 2011

The Most Lucrative Educations

Location, prestige, academic reputation and tuition are major factors for students in the college selection process, but post-graduate 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 educations? Recently, released a report on the highest salary potential among the nation’s
Source: PayScale.com | College Rankings and other stats by US News and World Report 

Location, prestige, academic reputation, and tuition are major factors for students in the college-selection process, but post-graduate 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 the nation’s top 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.

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

By Paul Toscano
Updated 25 July 2011

15. Amherst College

Mid-career median salary: $107,000 Starting median salary: $54,400 Location: Amherst, Mass. 2010-2011 tuition: $40,862 College rank: 2 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 16% Total undergrad enrollment: 1,744
Photo: Amherst College | Facebook

Mid-career median salary: $107,000
Starting median salary: $54,400

Location: Amherst, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,862
College rank: 2 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 16 percent
Total undergrad enrollment: 1,744

14. Bucknell University

Mid-career median salary: $115,000 Starting median salary: $55,800 Location: Lewisburg, Pa. 2010-2011 tuition: $42,342 College rank: 30 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 29.9% Total undergrad enrollment: 3,543
Photo: Bucknell University

Mid-career median salary: $115,000
Starting median salary: $55,800

Location: Lewisburg, Pa.
2010-2011 tuition: $42,342
College rank: 30 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 29.9 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 3,543

13. SUNY Maritime

Mid-career median salary: $109,000 Starting median salary: $57,300 Location: Throggs Neck, N.Y. 2010-2011 tuition: $14,567* College rank: 19 Acceptance rate: 63.1% Total undergrad enrollment: 1,575
Photo: SUNY Maritime | Facebook

Mid-career median salary: $109,000
Starting median salary: $57,300

Location: Throggs Neck, N.Y.
2010-2011 tuition: $14,567*
College rank: 19 (Regional North)Acceptance rate: 63.1 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 1,575

*This figure represents out-of-state tution. Annual in-state tuition was $6,157 in the 2010-2011 academic year.

12. College of the Holy Cross

Mid-career median salary: $112,000 Starting median salary: $48,700 Location: Worester, Mass. 2010-2011 tuition: $39,892 College rank: 32 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 36.5% Total undergrad enrollment: 2,932
Photo: College of the Holy Cross | Facebook

Mid-career median salary: $112,000
Starting median salary: $48,700

Location: Worester, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $39,892
College rank: 32 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 36.5 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 2,932

11. Colgate University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000 Starting median salary: $48,700 Location: Hamilton, N.Y. 2010-2011 tuition: $41,870 College rank: 21 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 32% Total undergrad enrollment: 2,825
Photo: Colgate University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000
Starting median salary: $48,700

Location: Hamilton, N.Y.
2010-2011 tuition: $41,870
College rank: 21 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 32 percent
Total undergrad enrollment: 2,825

10. Lehigh University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000 Starting median salary: $57,200 Location: Bethlehem, Pa. 2010-2011 tuition: $39,780 College rank: 37 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 32.8% Total undergrad enrollment: 4,809
Photo: Lehigh University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000
Starting median salary: $57,200

Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
2010-2011 tuition: $39,780
College rank: 37 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 32.8 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,809

9. Stanford University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000 Starting median salary: $58,200 Location: Stanford, Calif. 2010-2011 tuition: $39,201 College rank: 5 (National) Acceptance rate: 8% Total undergrad enrollment: 6,602
Photo: Stanford University

Mid-career median salary: $112,000
Starting median salary: $58,200

Location: Stanford, Calif.
2010-2011 tuition: $39,201
College rank: 5 (National)
Acceptance rate: 8 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 6,602

8. Duke University

Mid-career median salary: $111,000 Starting median salary: $59,600 Location: Durham, N.C. 2010-2011 tuition: $40,472 College rank: 9 (National) Acceptance rate: 18.9% Total undergrad enrollment: 6,578
Photo: Duke University

Mid-career median salary: $111,000
Starting median salary: $59,600

Location: Durham, N.C.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,472
College rank: 9 (National)
Acceptance rate: 18.9 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 6,578

7. Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Mid-career median salary: $113,000 Starting median salary: $61,000 Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. 2010-2011 tuition: $36,284 College rank: 153 (National) Acceptance rate: 55% Total undergrad enrollment: 1,732
Photo: Jim Henderson | Wikicommons

Mid-career median salary: $113,000
Starting median salary: $61,000

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,284
College rank: 153 (National)
Acceptance rate: 55 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 1,732

6. Dartmouth College 

Mid-career median salary: $114,000 Starting median salary: $51,600 Location: Hanover, N.H. 2010-2011 tuition: $40,437 College rank: 9 (National) Acceptance rate: 12.6% Total undergrad enrollment: 4,196
Photo: Dartmouth College

Mid-career median salary: $114,000
Starting median salary: $51,600

Location: Hanover, N.H.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,437
College rank: 9 (National)
Acceptance rate: 12.6 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,196

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mid-career median salary: $115,000 Starting median salary: $69,700 Location: Cambridge, Mass. 2010-2011 tuition: $39,212 College rank: 7 (National) Acceptance rate: 10.7% Total undergrad enrollment: 4,232
Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mid-career median salary: $115,000
Starting median salary: $69,700

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $39,212
College rank: 7 (National)
Acceptance rate: 10.7 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,232

4. Harvard University

Mid-career median salary: $116,000 Starting median salary: $54,100 Location: Cambridge, Mass. 2010-2011 tuition: $38,416 College rank: 1 (National) Acceptance rate: 7.5% Total undergrad enrollment: 6,655
Photo: Steve Dunwell | Getty Images

Mid-career median salary: $116,000
Starting median salary: $54,100

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $38,416
College rank: 1 (National)
Acceptance rate: 7.5 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 6,655

3. Harvey Mudd College

Mid-career median salary: $121,000 Starting median salary: $64,400 Location: Claremont, Calif. 2010-2011 tuition: $40,390 College rank: 18 (Liberal Arts) Acceptance rate: 34.1% Total undergrad enrollment: 757
Photo: Harvey Mudd College

Mid-career median salary: $121,000
Starting median salary: $64,400

Location: Claremont, Calif.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,390
College rank: 18 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 34.1 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 757

2. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

Mid-career median salary: $123,000 Starting median salary: $69,600 Location: Pasadena, Calif. 2010-2011 tuition: $36,282 College rank: 7 (National) Acceptance rate: 15.3% Total undergrad enrollment: 951
Photo: CalTech

Mid-career median salary: $123,000
Starting median salary: $69,600

Location: Pasadena, Calif.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,282
College rank: 7 (National)
Acceptance rate: 15.3 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 951

1. Princeton University

Mid-career median salary: $130,000 Starting median salary: $56,900 Location: Princeton, N.J. 2010-2011 tuition: $36,640 College rank: 2 (National) Acceptance rate: 10.1% Total undergrad enrollment: 5,113
Photo: Princeton University

Mid-career median salary: $130,000
Starting median salary: $56,900

Location: Princeton, N.J.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,640
College rank: 2 (National)
Acceptance rate: 10.1 percent 
Total undergrad enrollment: 5,113

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