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
1Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$65,000$137,30038%26%

1Colgate University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$65,000
Mid-Career Pay$137,300
% High Meaning38%
% STEM Degrees26%
2Engineering, Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$67,200$135,70045%52%

2Lehigh University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$67,200
Mid-Career Pay$135,700
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees52%
3Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$64,800$125,20040%40%

3Bucknell University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$64,800
Mid-Career Pay$125,200
% High Meaning40%
% STEM Degrees40%
4Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$60,900$122,40051%47%

4Union College (New York)
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$60,900
Mid-Career Pay$122,400
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees47%
5Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$57,300$121,50047%29%

5University of California-Santa Barbara
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,300
Mid-Career Pay$121,500
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees29%
6Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$58,200$118,60047%13%

6Wake Forest University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,200
Mid-Career Pay$118,600
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees13%
7Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$61,000$113,80045%36%

7University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$61,000
Mid-Career Pay$113,800
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees36%
8Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$54,600$108,80044%22%

8Tulane University of Louisiana
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$54,600
Mid-Career Pay$108,800
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees22%
9Party School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$56,900$107,40043%11%

9Providence College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,900
Mid-Career Pay$107,400
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees11%
10Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$56,700$105,70042%22%

10University of Delaware
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$56,700
Mid-Career Pay$105,700
% High Meaning42%
% STEM Degrees22%
11Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$56,200$105,40043%27%

11Syracuse University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,200
Mid-Career Pay$105,400
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees27%
12Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$55,700$101,80049%33%

12University of Wisconsin-Madison
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,700
Mid-Career Pay$101,800
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees33%
13Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$54,200$101,40052%29%

13University of Florida
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$54,200
Mid-Career Pay$101,400
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees29%
14Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$53,000$99,80049%18%

14University of Rhode Island
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$53,000
Mid-Career Pay$99,800
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees18%
15Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$51,600$99,70050%22%

15University of Vermont
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,600
Mid-Career Pay$99,700
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees22%
16Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$52,900$99,00053%22%

16West Virginia University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,900
Mid-Career Pay$99,000
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees22%
17Party School, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$52,100$96,00054%10%

17Sonoma State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,100
Mid-Career Pay$96,000
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees10%
18Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$51,200$93,90050%15%

18The University of Alabama
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,200
Mid-Career Pay$93,900
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees15%
19Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$49,000$93,50050%18%

19Florida State University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$49,000
Mid-Career Pay$93,500
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees18%
20Party School, Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsPublic$50,800$90,70051%24%

20University of Maine
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$50,800
Mid-Career Pay$90,700
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees24%
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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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