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$88,800$158,20055%85%

1Harvey Mudd College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$88,800
Mid-Career Pay$158,200
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees85%
2Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$86,300$155,20052%69%

2Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$86,300
Mid-Career Pay$155,200
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees69%
3Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$91,200$154,10090%0%

3Samuel Merritt University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$91,200
Mid-Career Pay$154,100
% High Meaning90%
% STEM Degrees0%
4Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$84,100$151,60053%97%

4California Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$84,100
Mid-Career Pay$151,600
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees97%
5Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$74,800$146,80054%19%

5Harvard University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$74,800
Mid-Career Pay$146,800
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees19%
6Engineering, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$79,000$145,20056%51%

6Stanford University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$79,000
Mid-Career Pay$145,200
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees51%
7Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$81,000$144,80082%2%

7Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$81,000
Mid-Career Pay$144,800
% High Meaning82%
% STEM Degrees2%
8Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$80,800$141,800N/A100%

8Webb Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$80,800
Mid-Career Pay$141,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees100%
9Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$75,100$139,90047%79%

9Stevens Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$75,100
Mid-Career Pay$139,900
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees79%
10Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$75,200$139,40048%48%

10Princeton University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$75,200
Mid-Career Pay$139,400
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees48%
11Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$70,300$138,30053%22%

11Yale University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$70,300
Mid-Career Pay$138,300
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees22%
12Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$75,900$136,10045%66%

12Carnegie Mellon University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$75,900
Mid-Career Pay$136,100
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees66%
13Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$75,000$135,80051%96%

13Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$75,000
Mid-Career Pay$135,800
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees96%
14Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$78,300$135,700N/A3%

14Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$78,300
Mid-Career Pay$135,700
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees3%
15Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$73,600$135,50047%86%

15Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$73,600
Mid-Career Pay$135,500
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees86%
16Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,900$134,70044%29%

16Santa Clara University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,900
Mid-Career Pay$134,700
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees29%
17Engineering, Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$69,500$134,10045%52%

17Lehigh University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$69,500
Mid-Career Pay$134,100
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees52%
17Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$71,300$134,10049%78%

17Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$71,300
Mid-Career Pay$134,100
% High Meaning49%
% STEM Degrees78%
19Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$72,800$133,90041%21%

19University of Pennsylvania
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$72,800
Mid-Career Pay$133,900
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees21%
20Business, Private SchoolBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$72,000$133,80037%0%

20Babson College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$72,000
Mid-Career Pay$133,800
% High Meaning37%
% STEM Degrees0%
21Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$71,100$132,10050%26%

21Duke University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$71,100
Mid-Career Pay$132,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees26%
22Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$71,500$130,90044%35%

22Dartmouth College
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$71,500
Mid-Career Pay$130,900
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees35%
23Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$68,400$130,60041%26%

23Colgate University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,400
Mid-Career Pay$130,600
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees26%
24Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$67,000$130,50045%28%

24University of Notre Dame
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$67,000
Mid-Career Pay$130,500
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees28%
25Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsPrivate not-for-profit$66,400$130,10058%58%

25Clarkson University
Degree TypeBachelors
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$66,400
Mid-Career Pay$130,100
% High Meaning58%
% STEM Degrees58%
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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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