Certain colleges have such an outstanding reputation for academics and prestige and while it is true that salaries vary based more on industry and credentials, attending one of these fifteen schools could be the other factor for adding extra zeroes to paychecks. Some of them may seem obvious, but many may surprise you. The following colleges and universities produce graduates that earn the highest average salaries.
15. Amherst College
Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, Amherst College is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. Notable alumni include former US President Calvin Coolidge, a slew of senators, clergymen and political figures, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, novelist, Dan Brown and others. The reported mid-career median salary for an Amherst alum is $107,000; the median starting salary is $54,400.
14. Bucknell University
A top liberal arts college in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Bucknell is the alma mater of notable and award-winning actors, athletes, Olympic competitors, scientists, novelists, entrepreneurs, and more. Almost all university faculty, 97%, hold a degree at the doctoral level or equivalent. Bucknell graduates report a median mid-career salary of $115,00 and a median starting salary of $55,800.
13. SUNY Maritime
The State University of New York Maritime College boasts a long list of notable alumni, from businessmen to government leaders to a NASA astronaut – and including, of course, maritime industry leaders. Named by The Princeton Review as 2011’s best northeastern college, SUNY Maritime records its graduates’ median starting salary at $57,300 and mid-career salary at $109,000.
12. College of the Holy Cross
Nestled in Worester, Mass., College of the Holy Cross is New England’s oldest Catholic college. Home to a renowned liberal arts program in the Jesuit tradition, Holy Cross boasts successful graduates in various industries, from leaders in fashion and marketing to show business and government. Alumni record a median starting salary of $48,000 and mid-career salaries of $112,000.
11. Colgate University
This consistently ranked liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York has an enrollment of approximately 2,900; the largest percentage of students major in business-related fields with financial services and law students not far behind in numbers. Graduates go on to top Ivy League schools for graduate study and earn a median starting salary of $48,700. The mid-career salary median for Colgate graduates is $112,000.
10. Lehigh University
Lehigh, a leading research university, is located in historic Bethlehem, PA. This private institution is more than 140 years old and 99% of the faculty employed at Lehigh holds either the highest degree offered in their field or a doctorate degree. Trained by such esteemed educators, Lehigh graduates report a median starting salary of $57,200 and a mid-level median salary of $112,000.
9. Stanford University
This California university, located near Palo Alto in the heart of the Silicon Valley, is a leader in research and education. The list of notable alumni includes the creators of Google, Hewlett-Packard, Netflix, Yahoo!, and more, as well as the executives of such companies as Microsoft and Time Warner. Unsurprisingly, a Stanford graduate’s median starting salary is recorded at $58,200 with the mid-career median salary reported at $112,000.
8. Duke University
This famous Durham, North Carolina university enrolls approximately 6,500 undergraduates who choose public policy, economics, biomedical engineering, psychology, and biology as the top five fields of study. Duke aumni include Nobel laureates, congressmen, diplomats, cabinet members, and White House staff members. Graduates’ median starting salary is reported at $59,000 and mid-career median salaries list at $111,000.
7. Polytechnic Institute of New York University
An affiliate of NYU, this Brooklyn college specializes in engineering, technology, and applied sciences. A leader in research and education, NYU Poly demonstrates excellence in their specialty fields and has a globally renowned program reaching into Israel and Asia. NYU Poly graduates report a starting median salary of $61,000 while mid-career alumni report a median salary of $113,000.
6. Dartmouth College
Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is known for its outstanding professional schools in business, engineering, and medical training. With such notable alumni as Ivy League university presidents, MacArthur Fellows, and US federal justices hail from, this school’s graduates earn a median starting salary of $51,600 and a median mid-career salary of $114,000.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The main objective of students, faculty, and staff at this top school of science and technology in Cambridge, MA, is research. With a reputation for excellence in advancing and generating new modern technology, MIT has graduated over 70 Nobel laureates, more than 50 National Medal of Science winners, and 38 MacArthur Fellows. Graduates from MIT report an impressive median starting salary of $69,700 and mid-career salary of $115,000.
4. Harvard University
This world-famous, nearly four-century old university in Cambridge, MA, is known for its outstanding academics, innovation, and prestigious reputation. And, of course, for educating and jump-starting the career of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Other notable alumni include US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and six others. The median starting salary of Harvard alumni is reported at $54,100 with mid-career graduates earning $116,000.
3. Harvey Mudd College
Located in Claremont, CA, Harvey Mudd College is a top-ranked math, science, and engineering school. Founded in the 1950s by a notable mining engineer, HMC offers students a large selection of math and science majors as well as humanities and social sciences. Many graduates go on to achieve great success in scientific fields and earn a median starting salary of $64,400 and a mid-career median salary of $121,000.
2. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
Affectionately known as CalTech, this renowned institute is a leader of education and research in science and technology. CalTech graduates include Nobel Prize winners, National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology recipients, and members of prestigious boards and academies. Graduates report a median starting salary of $69,600 and a mid-career salary of $123,000.
1. Princeton University
One of the oldest colleges in the United States, Princeton’s legacy is known and respected internationally. This research-based school is the alma mater of distinguished politicians, businessmen, former US President John F. Kennedy, and Nobel and other esteemed prize winners. Princeton graduates earn a median starting salary of $56,900, and report an impressive median mid-career salary of $130,000.