Money

Here's how much students earn after graduating from the top 10 schools in the US

Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.
Suzanne Kreiter | The Boston Globe | Getty Images
Students react as they prepare to receive their diplomas at commencement at Harvard University.

It can cost a lot to attend one of the country's top colleges, but does it pay?

Using school rankings from U.S. News & World Report and salary data from PayScale, GOBankingRates crunched the numbers to figure out what grads from the top schools make within the first five years in the workforce. For comparison's sake, the median salary for workers 25 and over with at least a Bachelor's degree is around $60,000.

The median early career salary for every one of these schools exceeds that, except the University of Chicago, which comes in just below. So a diploma from a top-tier college can indeed give you a significant boost, money-wise.

The field you choose can also have a major impact on how much you earn: Jobs in engineering, computer science, finance and consulting often pay much higher starting salaries than those in humanities or communications, for instance, and top schools often funnel grads into those lucrative industries.

Here's how much graduates earn zero-to-five years after attending the top 10 colleges in the U.S.:

University of Chicago

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $58,100
U.S. News overall rank: 3

The University of Chicago
Bob Krist | Getty Images
The University of Chicago

Duke University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $65,300
U.S. News overall rank: 9

People walk by Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.
Jim R. Bounds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
People walk by Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, U.S.

Columbia University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $66,000
U.S. News overall rank: 5

Columbia University
Education Images | Getty Images
Columbia University

Yale University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $66,800
U.S. News overall rank: 3

Yale University campus
Topic Images Inc. | Getty Images
Yale University campus

University of Pennsylvania

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $68,100
U.S. News overall rank: 8

University of Pennsylvania campus
pkujiahe | Getty Images
University of Pennsylvania campus

Harvard University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $69,200
U.S. News overall rank: 2

Harvard University
DenisTangneyJr | iStock | Getty Images
Harvard University

Princeton University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $69,800
U.S. News overall rank: 1

Blair Hall at Princeton University
John Greim/LOOP IMAGES | Getty Images
Blair Hall at Princeton University

Stanford University

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $73,300
U.S. News overall rank: 5

Stanford University
SpVVK | Getty Images
Stanford University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $78,800
U.S. News overall rank: 5

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yiming Chen | Getty Images
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Median starting salary with a Bachelor's degree: $82,000
U.S. News overall rank: 10

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