Best Private Universities by Salary Potential

Want the intimate experience of a private college along with a high-paying career? Check out private colleges with highest-paid alumni.

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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, Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$85,600$157,40056%85%

1Harvey Mudd College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$85,600
Mid-Career Pay$157,400
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees85%
2Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$83,600$150,40053%69%

2Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$83,600
Mid-Career Pay$150,400
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees69%
3Engineering, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$76,500$143,10057%51%

3Stanford University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$76,500
Mid-Career Pay$143,100
% High Meaning57%
% STEM Degrees51%
3Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$83,400$143,10054%96%

3California Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$83,400
Mid-Career Pay$143,100
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees96%
5Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$80,200$142,60083%2%

5Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$80,200
Mid-Career Pay$142,600
% High Meaning83%
% STEM Degrees2%
5Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$72,600$142,60055%19%

5Harvard University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$72,600
Mid-Career Pay$142,600
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees19%
7Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$72,700$141,30047%45%

7Princeton University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$72,700
Mid-Career Pay$141,300
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees45%
8Business, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,300$139,20035%0%

8Babson College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,300
Mid-Career Pay$139,200
% High Meaning35%
% STEM Degrees0%
9Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$66,800$139,10044%29%

9Santa Clara University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$66,800
Mid-Career Pay$139,100
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees29%
10Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$73,600$138,90050%79%

10Stevens Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$73,600
Mid-Career Pay$138,900
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees79%
11Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,900$137,50044%35%

11Dartmouth College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,900
Mid-Career Pay$137,500
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees35%
12Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$65,000$137,30038%26%

12Colgate University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$65,000
Mid-Career Pay$137,300
% High Meaning38%
% STEM Degrees26%
13Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$70,100$135,80042%21%

13University of Pennsylvania
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$70,100
Mid-Career Pay$135,800
% High Meaning42%
% STEM Degrees21%
14Engineering, Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$67,200$135,70045%52%

14Lehigh University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$67,200
Mid-Career Pay$135,700
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees52%
15Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$64,000$135,50048%32%

15Williams College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$64,000
Mid-Career Pay$135,500
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees32%
16Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,300$135,40054%20%

16Yale University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,300
Mid-Career Pay$135,400
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees20%
17Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$79,100$134,700N/A100%

17Webb Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$79,100
Mid-Career Pay$134,700
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees100%
18Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$81,900$134,200N/A100%

18Franklin W Olin College of Engineering
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$81,900
Mid-Career Pay$134,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees100%
19Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,200$133,60049%43%

19Rice University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,200
Mid-Career Pay$133,600
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees43%
20Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,700$133,10050%26%

20Duke University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,700
Mid-Career Pay$133,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees26%
21Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$71,700$132,50048%86%

21Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$71,700
Mid-Career Pay$132,500
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees86%
22Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,600$131,60048%78%

22Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,600
Mid-Career Pay$131,600
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees78%
22Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$65,400$131,60046%42%

22Brown University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$65,400
Mid-Career Pay$131,600
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees42%
24Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$64,700$131,50046%28%

24University of Notre Dame
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$64,700
Mid-Career Pay$131,500
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees28%
25Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$56,100$131,40044%36%

25Haverford College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,100
Mid-Career Pay$131,400
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees36%
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Private colleges may have a higher price tag than government-funded public schools, but if you are willing to pay their hefty tuition, or if you can work out a financial aid package that makes a private school an affordable option, they can be a very smart choice. If you are considering a private school for your bachelor’s degree, PayScale’s College Salary Report ranks the best private colleges by alumni salaries. If you are go to a college that has a history of helping alumni settle into high-paying careers and planning on picking a major with high earning potential, a private school education can be a great investment.

Some of the most famous private schools in the country are the Ivy League schools like Harvard, Princeton and Yale, so it’s no surprise that they do so well in the PayScale College Salary Report. But it’s interesting to wonder why the Ivies, as well as other famous private schools like Stanford, Babson, Washington and Lee, Carnegie Mellon and Tufts, do so well despite not focusing on STEM subjects exclusively. We speculate that because private schools are generally smaller and have strong alumni networks, they give college students stronger networking opportunities that help them start their careers off strong.


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