The typical starting salaries for graduates of the 30 best colleges, ranked

The typical starting salary for an NYU graduate is $58,700.

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The typical starting salary for an NYU graduate is $58,700.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • When it comes to deciding on where to attend college, there’s a lot to consider – including how much money you’ll be making with your newly earned degree.
  • GOBankingRates recently released a list of the starting salaries for graduates from the 30 best colleges.
  • All colleges on the list led to starting salaries of more than $50,000.

The college application process can be grueling, but deciding where to attend college once admission offers start rolling in can be even more stressful.

There are a lot of aspects incoming students need to consider, like undergraduate programs, rankings, location, and tuition – not to mention how much their new degree will earn them in the working world. After all, the end goal after college is to get a good job, and decent pay doesn’t hurt considering student loan burdens these days.

GOBankingRates recently released a list of the starting salaries for graduates from the 30 best colleges, based on US News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. Using Payscale, GOBankingRates researched salaries for alumni graduated from each college with zero to five years of experience.

All the colleges on the list have starting salaries of more than $50,000. The college with the highest starting salary is the California Institute of Technology, at $84,000.

Below, how much you can expect to make post-graduation at the 30 best colleges in the US, ranked from lowest to highest starting salaries.


30. Wake Forest University

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Bryan Pollard/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $56,000

Cost of attendance: $52,348

School ranking: 27


29. Emory University

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Emory University/Facebook

Starting salary: $56,700

Cost of attendance: $50,590

School ranking: 21 (tie)


28. University of California — Los Angeles

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Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $57,500

Cost of attendance: $13,285

School ranking: 21 (tie)


27. University of Chicago

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The University of Chicago/Facebook

Starting salary: $58,100

Cost of attendance: $48,759

School ranking: 3


26. New York University

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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Starting salary: $58,700

Cost of attendance: $51,828

School ranking: 30


25. University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Starting salary: $59,300

Cost of attendance: $26,243

School ranking: 28


24. University of Southern California

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University of Southern California/Facebook

Starting salary: $59,400

Cost of attendance: $55,320

School ranking: 21 (tie)


23. Northwestern University

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Anthony Ricci/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $59,500

Cost of attendance: $54,120

School ranking: 11 (tie)


22. University of Virginia

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Facebook/University of Virginia

Starting salary: $59,500

Cost of attendance: $44,274

School ranking: 25 (tie)


21. Washington University in St. Louis

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Facebook/Washington University in St. Louis

Starting salary: $60,100

Cost of attendance: $52,400

School ranking: 18 (tie)


20. Tufts University

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Kevin D. Walsh/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $60,400

Cost of attendance: $55,172

School ranking: 29


19. Vanderbilt University

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Vanderbilt University Law School/Facebook

Starting salary: $61,100

Cost of attendance: $48,600

School ranking: 14 (tie)


18. Georgetown University

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Valerii Iavtushenko/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $61,400

Cost of attendance: $53,520

School ranking: 20


17. University of Notre Dame

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Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $62,500

Cost of attendance: $53,391

School ranking: 18


16. Brown University

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Facebook/Brown University

Starting salary: $63,000

Cost of attendance: $52,231

School ranking: 14


15. Johns Hopkins University

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Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $63,200

Cost of attendance: $48,645

School ranking: 11 (tie)


14. Duke University

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Chadarat Saibhut/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $65,300

Cost of attendance: $55,960

School ranking: 9


13. University of California — Berkley

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Keegan Houser and Facebook/UCBerkeley

Starting salary: $65,400

Cost of attendance: $14,184

School ranking: 21 (tie)


12. Cornell University

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Lewis Liu/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $65,600

Cost of attendance: $54,818

School ranking: 14 (tie)


11. Rice University

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cheng/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $65,700

Cost of attendance: $46,600

School ranking: 14 (tie)


10. Columbia University

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LENS-68/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $66,000

Cost of attendance: $57,208

School ranking: 5


9. Dartmouth College

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Dan Lewis/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $66,300

Cost of attendance: $53,496

School ranking: 11


8. Yale University

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $66,800

Cost of attendance: $53,430

School ranking: 3 (tie)


7. University of Pennsylvania

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $68,100

Cost of attendance: $49,220

School ranking: 8


6. Harvard University

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Paul Marotta/Getty

Starting salary: $69,200

Cost of attendance: $44,990

School ranking: 2


5. Princeton University

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Facebook/Princeton University

Starting salary: $69,800

Cost of attendance: $49,330

School ranking: 1


4. Carnegie Mellon University

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Tupungato/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $70,900

Cost of attendance: $54,244

School ranking: 25


3. Stanford University

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turtix/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $73,300

Cost of attendance: $49,617

School ranking: 5 (tie)


2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

Starting salary: $78,800

Cost of attendance: $49,892

School ranking: 5 (tie)


1. California Institute of Technology

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Facebook/California Institute of Technology – Caltech

Starting salary: $82,000

Cost of attendance: $50,487

School ranking: 10