Future salary isn’t the only measure of a top-quality college education, but in an era when student loan debt tops $1 trillion, and two-thirds of students graduate with student loan debt, identifying which schools offer a future salary advantage is an important part of the college selection process. PayScale’s annual College Salary Report helps you do your homework.
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This year’s report is a little different from previous years, which only included four-year schools. The 2014-2015 edition still looks at best undergraduate schools, but it also examines two-year colleges. Future releases will review majors that pay students back, and graduate schools, ranked by alumni salary.
In addition, this release asks why the gap between the richest and poorest students continue to grow, and how to make college accessible to everyone, including students from low-income backgrounds or whose parents didn’t go to college. It’s all about options: today’s low-income, first-generation students have fewer of them than wealthier students whose parents know the system, and they’re less likely to have access to information about the options they do have.
Finally, PayScale explains why not all graduate degrees are created equal. Embedded below, the Alumni Earnings Comparison: Bachelor’s Only Grads vs. All Grads looks at schools with alumni who go on to graduate school, and asks if their careers and salaries benefit, compared with alumni who stop after obtaining undergraduate degrees.
The bottom line: the choices students make before they ever walk into the classroom will affect the rest of their careers, including how much they make. A little research can mean more money later.
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