Best Party Schools by Salary Potential

Want to party in undergraduate school but still end up in a high-paying job? Check out the top four-year party schools with the highest-paid graduates.

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Bachelor's Only
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
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
1Engineering, Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,500$134,10045%52%

1Lehigh University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,500
Mid-Career Pay$134,100
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees52%
2Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,400$130,60041%26%

2Colgate University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,400
Mid-Career Pay$130,600
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees26%
3Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$66,700$122,90040%40%

3Bucknell University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$66,700
Mid-Career Pay$122,900
% High Meaning40%
% STEM Degrees40%
4Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$63,300$117,50050%47%

4Union College (New York)
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$63,300
Mid-Career Pay$117,500
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees47%
5Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$59,700$116,30047%29%

5University of California-Santa Barbara
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$59,700
Mid-Career Pay$116,300
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees29%
6Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$62,600$115,30044%36%

6University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$62,600
Mid-Career Pay$115,300
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees36%
7Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$60,700$114,80044%13%

7Wake Forest University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$60,700
Mid-Career Pay$114,800
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees13%
8Party School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$58,900$106,90044%11%

8Providence College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,900
Mid-Career Pay$106,900
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees11%
9Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$58,600$105,40043%22%

9University of Delaware
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$58,600
Mid-Career Pay$105,400
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees22%
10Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$56,800$105,30044%22%

10Tulane University of Louisiana
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,800
Mid-Career Pay$105,300
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees22%
11Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$58,100$104,80043%27%

11Syracuse University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,100
Mid-Career Pay$104,800
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees27%
12Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,300$104,40048%33%

12University of Wisconsin-Madison
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,300
Mid-Career Pay$104,400
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees33%
13Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,800$102,80052%29%

13University of Florida
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,800
Mid-Career Pay$102,800
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees29%
14Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,400$99,90052%22%

14West Virginia University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,400
Mid-Career Pay$99,900
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees22%
15Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,500$99,70050%18%

15University of Rhode Island
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,500
Mid-Career Pay$99,700
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees18%
16Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$53,200$99,40050%22%

16University of Vermont
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$53,200
Mid-Career Pay$99,400
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees22%
17Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$52,300$97,40050%15%

17The University of Alabama
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,300
Mid-Career Pay$97,400
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees15%
18Party School, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$53,400$97,10056%10%

18Sonoma State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$53,400
Mid-Career Pay$97,100
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees10%
19Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$52,000$95,00050%24%

19University of Maine
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$95,000
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees24%
20Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$50,800$92,70049%18%

20Florida State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$50,800
Mid-Career Pay$92,700
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees18%
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Party schools may have a reputation for kegs, toga parties and a very active Greek system, but some of them actually produce some very highly paid graduates as well. This year PayScale’s list of the Party colleges with the highest-paid graduates includes notable schools like Penn State, Lehigh University and the University of Illinois.

PayScale gets its list of the top party schools from The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review’s defines party schools party schools as those with the highest percentage of students who said that alcohol and drugs are common on their campuses, that they don’t spend too many hours studying each day, and that fraternities and sororities are very active on campus.

Other famous party schools that made the list are Penn State, Bucknell University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Almost every school in our list of party colleges with the highest-paid graduates has a strong Division 1 sports team. Fans of the University of Florida Gators or the University of Wisconsin Badgers throw great parties to cheer on their teams, but also go on to earn high salaries.


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