Money

The 13 US colleges where students go on to earn the most money

Healy Hall, the flagship building of Georgetown University's main campus in Washington, D.C.
Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images
Healy Hall, the flagship building of Georgetown University's main campus in Washington, D.C.

You don't need a college degree to make a lot of money but on average, college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates.

And some colleges have greater salary potential than others.

To find out which schools produce the highest-earning alumni, we used the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, which provides a variety of data on thousands of colleges, including the median earnings of federally aided students 10 years after enrolling and the average annual cost of attending.

For our ranking, we restricted the list to bachelor's degree-granting institutions and excluded special focus institutions.

Scroll down to see the colleges where students go on to earn the most money and the average annual cost of each school, which the U.S. Department of Education defines as, "the average annual net price for federal aid recipients, after aid from the school, state, or federal government. For public schools, this is only the average cost for in-state students."

13. California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Average annual cost: $25,308

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,800

Read more about Caltech.

California Institute of Technology
Danita Delimont | Getty Images
California Institute of Technology

12. Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Average annual cost: $7,103

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $77,900

Read more about Princeton.

Princeton University campus
Source: Princeton University
Princeton University campus

11. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, Maine

Average annual cost: $20,861

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $78,800

Read more about MMA.

Maine Maritime Academy
myLoupe | Universal Images Group | Getty Images
Maine Maritime Academy

10. California Maritime Academy

Vallejo, California

Average annual cost: $15,472

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,400

Read more about Cal Maritime.

California State University Maritime Academy
Source: California State University Maritime Academy
California State University Maritime Academy

9. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York

Average annual cost: $33,595

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,600

Read more about RPI.

RPI
Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia
RPI

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Average annual cost: $24,370

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $79,700

Read more about Penn.

University of Pennsylvania
Ann Hermes | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images
University of Pennsylvania

7. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts

Average annual cost: $35,187

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $80,300

Read more about WPI.

Students attend a class in 3-D modeling at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Melanie Stetson Freeman | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images
Students attend a class in 3-D modeling at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

6. United States Merchant Marine Academy

Kings Point, New York

Average annual cost: $5,538

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $82,000

Read more about USMMA.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Source: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

5. Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey

Average annual cost: $28,296

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $83,700

Read more about Stevens.

Stevens Institute of Technology
Source: Stevens Institute of Technology

4. Georgetown University

Washington, D.C.

Average annual cost: $27,506

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $84,000

Read more about Georgetown.

Healy Hall, the flagship building of Georgetown University's main campus in Washington, D.C.
Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images
Healy Hall, the flagship building of Georgetown University's main campus in Washington, D.C.

3. Stanford University

Stanford, California

Average annual cost: $14,559

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $86,000

Read more about Stanford.

Stanford University campus
David Madison | Getty Images
Stanford University campus

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Average annual cost: $23,547

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $89,200

Read more about MIT.

Students walk on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Yiming Chen | Getty Images
Students walk on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Average annual cost: $14,068

Median annual earnings 10 years after enrolling: $95,500

Read more about Harvard.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
Kelvin Ma | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.