Best Universities and Colleges by Salary Potential

Want to find out which colleges produce the highest-paid graduates? Use PayScale to research colleges and find out where the highest-paid graduates go.

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Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
1AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$68,100$90,500N/A0%

1Helene Fuld College of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,100
Mid-Career Pay$90,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
2AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$65,500$89,800N/A9%

2Pacific Union College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$65,500
Mid-Career Pay$89,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees9%
3AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$63,200$84,800N/A0%

3Cochran School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$63,200
Mid-Career Pay$84,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
4AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$61,600$83,500N/A0%

4Laboure College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$61,600
Mid-Career Pay$83,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
5AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$59,300$82,100N/A0%

5Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$59,300
Mid-Career Pay$82,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
6AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,500$80,200N/A0%

6Belanger School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,500
Mid-Career Pay$80,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
7AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$55,400$79,800N/A0%

7Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,400
Mid-Career Pay$79,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
8AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$57,700$78,600N/A3%

8Loma Linda University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,700
Mid-Career Pay$78,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees3%
9AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$48,600$78,400N/A7%

9St John's University-New York
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,600
Mid-Career Pay$78,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees7%
9AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,600$78,400N/A4%

9Mount Saint Mary's University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,600
Mid-Career Pay$78,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees4%
11AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$57,900$77,600N/A41%

11Rivier University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,900
Mid-Career Pay$77,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees41%
12AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$55,000$77,100N/A0%

12The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,000
Mid-Career Pay$77,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
13AssociatesPublic$55,600$76,60073%0%

13Colorado Northwestern Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,600
Mid-Career Pay$76,600
% High Meaning73%
% STEM Degrees0%
14AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,100$76,500N/A0%

14St Vincent's College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,100
Mid-Career Pay$76,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
15AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$51,300$76,200N/A1%

15Regent University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,300
Mid-Career Pay$76,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees1%
16AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$54,000$76,00097%0%

16Kettering College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$54,000
Mid-Career Pay$76,000
% High Meaning97%
% STEM Degrees0%
17AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,000$75,900N/A0%

17Perry Technical Institute
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$75,900
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
18AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,800$75,300N/A23%

18Villanova University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,800
Mid-Career Pay$75,300
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees23%
19AssociatesPublic$48,200$75,00067%8%

19Evergreen Valley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$48,200
Mid-Career Pay$75,000
% High Meaning67%
% STEM Degrees8%
20AssociatesPublic$47,500$74,90055%14%

20Bellevue College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,900
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees14%
20AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$49,300$74,90040%80%

20Coleman University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,300
Mid-Career Pay$74,900
% High Meaning40%
% STEM Degrees80%
22AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$53,500$74,80063%18%

22New York University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$53,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,800
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees18%
23AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$50,300$74,70069%3%

23Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,300
Mid-Career Pay$74,700
% High Meaning69%
% STEM Degrees3%
24AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,500$74,500N/A0%

24Casa Loma College-Van Nuys
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
25AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,900$74,400N/A0%

25Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,900
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
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Choosing a college isn’t a simple task – you want to pick a school that will challenge you intellectually and provide you with life experiences that help you grow as a person. But unless you want to live in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life, you also want to pick a school that prepares you for a successful career, both in terms of getting hired and equipping you with the skills to properly do your job. PayScale’s College Salary Report has ranked colleges and universities by the median salaries of their alumni. By knowing how much you can expect to earn after getting your bachelor’s degree, you can choose a school wisely and set yourself up for future financial security, especially when evaluating how much to borrow to help pay for your education.

The data used to calculate all salary information comes from millions of people who have taken the PayScale Salary Survey and told us where they received their bachelor’s degree. If you want to see salaries based off alumni who only received a bachelor’s degree, use the Bachelor’s Only tab. To see median alumni salaries that include data from graduates who went on to earn a graduate degree (at any school, not just the university where they obtained a bachelor’s degree), use the All Alumni tab.

The Best College By Alumni Salary

You might assume that the highest earners in the country come from well-known Ivy League Schools like Harvard or Princeton, but the truth is, the highest median alumni salaries often come from students who attended small colleges with strong engineering programs.

If we focus on early career earnings, elite military schools reign supreme. For bachelor’s-only graduates, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis are often home to high earners. The fact that West Point and Naval Academy alumni graduate with military experience probably increases their worth to employers.

The colleges with the highest-earning alumni almost all have one thing in common – they produce a lot of engineers and other workers with valuable STEM degrees. However, that doesn’t mean that everybody should become an engineer. PayScale publishes this data to help students understand the typical salaries they will likely go on to earn, and the corresponding amount of student debt they can afford to take on.

But don’t count liberal arts schools out just yet. Harvey Mudd and the USNA are both technically liberal arts schools as well because of the curriculums they require of graduates before receiving their degrees. However, even more classically styled liberal arts schools, like Washington and Lee University, Colgate University, Carleton College and Williams College produce high-earning graduates. Prospective students should just be aware that a liberal arts degree may mean it takes them a longer time to get settled in the career of their dreams, but their well-rounded, analytical skillsets and ability to clearly communicate can set them up for successful careers.

Both public and private schools can produce high-earning alumni. All military academies produce high-earning grads (again, when looking at grads in civilian jobs), and SUNY – Maritime College, the University of California – Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology produce very high-earning alumni, beating out some Ivy League Schools.


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