Coveting entry to the best Ivy League schools is an American tradition. A recent PayScale study adds another reason to chase acceptance: Ivy League grads out-earn their liberal-arts colleagues. According to the study, the median starting salary for Ivy League graduates is 32 percent higher than what liberal arts graduates earn. So why do graduates of the best Ivy League schools make more than graduates of other schools?
One reason could be the connections. New Ivy Leaguers are welcomed into a circle of some of the wealthiest, most powerful and connected people, including very distinguished lists of alumni. An acquaintance of mine who has spent time working at Harvard, Stanford, Yale and Duke recently told me that at Harvard, for example, once you're in, the Harvard circle does everything in its power to make sure you succeed--and keep succeeding throughout life. Others offer different reasons for why graduates of the best Ivy League schools make the big bucks. David Wise, a senior consultant at Hay Group Inc., a global management-consulting firm based in Philadelphia, says "Ivy Leaguers probably position themselves better for job opportunities that provide them with significant upside."