• Abs vs. Outcomes: UW's Cheerleading Infographic Shows That Colleges Aren't Marketing Themselves Correctly
    The recent controversy caused by a tip sheet for prospective cheerleaders at the University of Washington doesn't just show bad taste, it's more evidence that colleges aren't focusing on what really matters in appealing to students: whether or not they'll get a job after graduation.
  • The 5 Best High Schools in the U.S., According to U.S. News
    High school students in the U.S. have a college readiness problem. According to a report from testing organization ACT, only 40 percent of students taking the ACT met three or four college readiness benchmarks, which correlate with stronger likelihood of success in postsecondary education. However, taking college preparatory core curriculum classes increased students' chances of meeting these benchmarks; 49 percent of "core-taking" students met the math benchmark, for example, compared to 27 percent of non-core-taking students. In short, academic preparation in high school is essential to a good college experience – and a successful career after graduation.
  • Is College Still Worth the Money?
    From 2004 to 2014, the average debt for graduating college seniors who took out loans rose at twice the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, the real value of workers' wages is 6.5 percent lower today than it was in 2006, and recent college graduates are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed than they were prior to the recession. It's not unreasonable to look at the data and ask, "Is going to college a good investment for today's young workers?"
  • College ROI Report: Highest Student Loan Payments Made By Those Who Can Least Afford Them
    College may be more expensive than ever before, but the cost of not going to college is pretty steep, as well. For the most part, college graduates earn more, have lower unemployment rates, and are less likely to live in poverty than their less-educated peers. But that doesn't mean that it's easy to pay student loans with a recent graduate's salary (or potential lack thereof, depending on the job market upon graduation). In fact, PayScale's College ROI Report shows that the highest college loans are likely to be held by the borrowers with the lowest income.
  • College ROI Report: These 5 Schools Offer the Highest Return on Investment

    Money might not buy happiness, but lack of money can sure set you up for a world of misery. Just ask any of the 6.9 million Americans – as of July, 2015 – who hadn't made a payment on their federal students in 360 days. In fact, about 17 percent of all borrowers were severely delinquent in paying their student loans last year. Why? Well, for one thing, it's hard to stay on top of your loans if you can't get a job with a salary high enough to pay them.

    For this reason, PayScale's College ROI Report is a valuable tool for entering students. While of course college choice needs to be based on a variety of factors like career goals, interests, and aptitude, thinking about life after graduation, professionally and financially, is also key. College isn't just vocational training, but if you're going to get into debt, you need to set yourself up to get a job that will allow you to pay off those loans.

  • 2016 PayScale College ROI Report Shows How Household Income Affects Earnings After Graduation
    The poor often stay poor – even if they're college graduates. This year, for the first time, PayScale's annual College ROI Report looks at how household income prior to attending college relates to income after graduation. In short, students who enter college from lower-income households don't see the same return on their tuition investment as students who start off with more money in their pockets.
  • How College Rankings Have Changed
    How do college rankings help students choose a school? Earlier this week, at SXSWedu, panelists from PayScale, The Princeton Review, Money magazine, and Cornell examined college rankings, how they've evolved over the years, and what that means for the prospective students (and parents) who depend on them to make decisions about which schools to target during the application process.
  • Best Perk Ever? Some Employers Now Offer Student Loan Repayment
    If someone asks you how much you get paid, you probably answer with a dollar amount (or politely ask them to mind their own business). But the real value of your compensation comprises more than just the numbers that appear in your direct deposit at regular intervals. Perks like health insurance, 401(k) match, bonuses, and so on, save you money or make you money and contribute directly to your bottom line. Now, a few companies are introducing what might be the ultimate money-saving perk: cash to repay student loans ahead of schedule, thus potentially saving employees thousands in interest.
  • #ThisPsychMajor Agrees With Jeb Bush — Sort Of
    At a recent town hall event, Jeb Bush said that psych majors "end up working at Chick-fil-A." He went on to add that, "I just don't think people are getting jobs as psych majors." As a fully employed former psychology major, I have to say I resent that. In fact, I've written before on how to turn your psych major into a lucrative career, demonstrating that it's entirely possible to find employment outside the retail sector. But that doesn't mean that getting a job with a bachelor's in psychology is easy.
  • Justin Trudeau and 5 Other Successful English Majors
    On October 19, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party won a decisive victory in the Canadian national election. The prime-minister designate assumes office in November, and has already started movement on his campaign promises, but even if you don't care about Canadian politics (or any politics) there are a few interesting things to note about Canada's next prime minister. For starters, liberal arts majors can rejoice, because Trudeau has, among other degrees, a bachelor's in English literature from McGill. There's an answer, the next time your parents ask you, "What are you going to do with that English degree?"
  • Is Getting Into an Elite School the Only Way to Define Success?
    Upon entering high school, I was under the impression that my life would resemble that of Marissa Cooper from The OC, coming home past my curfew because I was out with a cute boy or getting into some shenanigans with my best gal pals. If we ignore the blatant reality that I was not a wealthy, blonde teenager (who was obviously at least 25), my high school experience was still vastly different from the one depicted on the television programs I watched. In retrospect, I believe my high school experience more closely resembles Olivia Pope's narrative on Scandal; I was constantly under pressure to appear perfect.
  • How to Avoid Defaulting on Your Student Loans
    Over 67 percent of college seniors had taken out student loans as of the 2011-12 academic year, according to The National Center for Education Statistics. That same year, the student loan default rate reached 10 percent. Obviously, no one enters school planning on defaulting on their student loans – defaulting can ruin your credit, impacting everything from your ability to get a mortgage or a car loan to getting hired for your dream job. PayScale's College Salary Report shows how college choice affects ability to earn enough to pay back loans; to help students avoid common mistakes when taking out their first loans, we spoke via email with Anne Del Plato, Regional Director for U-fi Student Loans.
  • How Financial Aid Affects College Cost and ROI By Household Income
    This weekend, President Obama rolled out new Department of Education initiatives aimed at increasing the number of students who attend college and graduate without unmanageable student loan debt. Among them: College Scorecard, an assessment tool that allows students and their families to choose potential colleges based on factors like average annual cost, graduation rate, and salary after attending. PayScale is using this data to add another layer to our College ROI Report, showing how income level affects college ROI.
  • The 5 Best Graduate Degrees By Salary
    A graduate degree isn't a guarantee, either of employment or high earnings. For one thing, not all graduate degrees are created equal. Some fields obviously grow more than others, and may or may not reward candidates with advanced degrees on their CVs. Some occupations require licensure to practice, or set the barrier of entry at a certain educational level. To help you figure out whether going back to school is in your best interests, this year's College Salary Report ranks the top graduate degrees by earnings.
  • #College2Career: Sasha Pasulka on Why You Should Get an Internship – Even If You Don't Want To
    All work and no play makes for a dull life and possibly an uninspired career, but sometimes, you have to sacrifice the occasional pool party in order to score a career-defining internship. Sasha Pasulka, Director, Audience Product Marketing at Tableau Software, spoke with PayScale for a special feature on forging a path from college to career, and shared that advice, plus a few other valuable tips. Among them: listen to your aunt, especially if she's a recruiter, and pay attention to what you loved when you were 12 years old. You never know when you'll discover the perfect career path.
  • #College2Career: Dallas Tester on Partnering With Professors to Find Career Opportunities
    College choice isn't career destiny, no matter what your high school guidance counselor might've told you. When it comes to building a career, the opportunities you take while you're going to school can be just as important as the name of the institution on your diploma. PayScale's College Salary Report ranks the colleges and universities whose graduates go on to high-paying careers, but the big surprise is how many "non-brand-name" schools make the list. Developer Evangelist Dallas Tester tells us why college reputation isn't a blueprint for graduates' career paths.
  • The 5 Best Party Schools By Salary Potential
    Just because students love to party, doesn't mean they're trading keggers today for career opportunities tomorrow. PayScale uses The Princeton Review's list of party schools as a jumping-off place, and then ranks them according to the median pay of their graduates at early and mid-career. To make Princeton's list, schools must have a high percentage of students who report seeing frequent drug and alcohol use at their schools, a very active Greek system, not too many hours per day devoted to study.
  • #College2Career:  Sarah Fenske on Why Unpaid Internships Are Worth It
    One of the biggest challenges for entering college students is finding time to do everything they need to do, in order to prepare for a successful career after graduation. As part of PayScale's College Salary Report, we asked several successful people to tell us how they bridged the gap between choosing a major and graduating to a satisfying career. For Sarah Fenske, Editor in Chief of the Riverfront Times and graduate of The College of Wooster, the answer was simple: gain work experience, in any way possible.
  • These Are the 10 Most Meaningful College Majors
    Salary is important; no matter how much you love your job, you're probably not going to be happy if you're stressed about paying the bills. Beyond a certain point, however, more money doesn't necessarily equal more happiness. For this reason, it's a good idea for entering college students to consider meaning as well as money when choosing a major.
  • The 5 Highest Paying Bachelor's (and Associate!) Degrees
    Very few students choose their major from a list of top-paying degrees. Even if financial considerations are paramount in your decision process, you'll probably start by examining your strengths and interests. In other words, you might not choose your major for love, exactly, but you don't want to sink time, effort, and money preparing for a career you won't enjoy. That said, there's value in knowing which degrees are most likely to net high-paying jobs for their recipients. PayScale's College Salary Report ranks the highest paying associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees – because no matter what you decide, knowing is better than not knowing.

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