The 31 colleges where students go on to earn the highest starting salaries

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Linda A Cicero/Stanford University/Facebook

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Linda A Cicero/Stanford University/Facebook

With the average student-loan debt currently hovering around $37,000, it makes perfect sense that students and parents consider average post-graduationearnings while looking at schools.

While pay potential shouldn’t be the only thing that attracts you to a particular college or university, it is helpful to know what you can expect, in terms of pay, once you join the working world.

PayScale, the creator of the world’s largest compensation database, recently looked at the starting and mid-career pay for over a million college grads – including professionals who graduated with a bachelor’s from 963 colleges and universities.

For its College Salary Report, which was compiled using data from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey, PayScale sorted the results by college major, degree, and school.

Here are the 31 colleges where students with a bachelor’s degree go on to earn the most money in the first five years of their career:


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Facebook/Santa Clara University

31. Santa Clara University

Early career median pay: $61,900

Mid-career median pay: $121,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,486


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Via Wikimedia Commons

30. University of Pennsylvania

Early career median pay: $62,200

Mid-career median pay: $124,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 11,548


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Facebook/ArtCenter College of Design

28. (tie) ArtCenter College of Design

Early career median pay: $62,300

Mid-career median pay: $81,300

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,824


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Tendenci Software/flickr

28. (tie) Rice University

Early career median pay: $62,300

Mid-career median pay: $113,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,926


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wikipedia public domain

27. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Early career median pay: $62,400

Mid-career median pay: $87,700

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,633


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Facebook/lehighu

26. Lehigh University

Early career median pay: $62,900

Mid-career median pay: $112,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,062


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Via Wikimedia Commons

25. Michigan Technological University

Early career median pay: $63,000

Mid-career median pay: $102,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,658


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Cornell University/Facebook

24. Cornell University

Early career median pay: $63,200

Mid-career median pay: $109,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 14,282


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South Dakota School of Mines and Technology/Facebook

23. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Early career median pay: $63,300

Mid-career median pay: $101,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,471


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Facebook/MissouriSandT

22. Missouri University of Science and Technology

Early career median pay: $63,400

Mid-career median pay: $101,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,520


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Facebook/MSOE

21. Milwaukee School of Engineering

Early career median pay: $63,500

Mid-career median pay: $92,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,596


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meunierd/Shutterstock

20. Columbia University

Early career median pay: $64,000

Mid-career median pay: $109,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,100


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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/Facebook

19. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Early career median pay:$64,400

Mid-career median pay: $110,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,618


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Colorado School of Mines/Facebook

17. (tie) Colorado School of Mines

Early career median pay: $65,200

Mid-career median pay: $114,000

Sector:Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,456


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EllenSeptember/flickr

17. (tie) Harvard University

Early career median pay: $65,200

Mid-career median pay: $123,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 10,338


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Worcester Polytechnic Institute/Facebook

15. (tie) Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Early career median pay: $65,300

Mid-career median pay: $112,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,235


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Georgia Tech/Facebook

15. (tie) Georgia Institute of Technology

Early career median pay: $65,300

Mid-career median pay: $112,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 14,682


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Stevens Institute of Technology/Facebook

14. Stevens Institute of Technology

Early career median pay: $65,600

Mid-career median pay: $117,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,892


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(vincent desjardins)/flickr

12. (tie) Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art

Early career median pay: $65,700

Mid-career median pay: $110,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 893


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Students on the University of Princeton campus.
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Flickr / regexman

12. (tie) Princeton University

Early career median pay: $65,700

Mid-career median pay: $131,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,391


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Kettering University/Facebook

11. Kettering University

Early career median pay: $66,300

Mid-career median pay: $105,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,732


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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology/Facebook

10. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Early career median pay: $67,500

Mid-career median pay: $108,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,280


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Jaime de la Fuente/flickr

9. Loma Linda University

Early career median pay: $68,500

Mid-career median pay: $82,400

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,189


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Wikimedia Commons

8. United States Air Force Academy

Early career median pay: $68,800

Mid-career median pay: $124,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,952


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Flickr/Miles Gehm

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Early career median pay: $69,400

Mid-career median pay: $119,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,888


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SUNY Maritime College/Facebook

6. SUNY – Maritime College

Early career median pay: $69,700

Mid-career median pay: $144,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,641


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Linda A Cicero/Stanford University/Facebook

5. Stanford University

Early career median pay: $70,800

Mid-career median pay: $127,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,019


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Wikimedia Commons

4. United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

Early career median pay: $72,900

Mid-career median pay: $125,000

Sector:Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,511


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Wikimedia Commons

3. United States Military Academy at West Point

Early career median pay: $76,000

Mid-career median pay: $126,000

Sector:Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,414


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Thomson Reuters

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Early career median pay: $78,300

Mid-career median pay: $134,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,512


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Harvey Mudd College/Facebook

1. Harvey Mudd College

Early career median pay: $78,500

Mid-career median pay: $131,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 804