Top U.S. colleges by starting and mid-career pay of graduates (All Alumni) 2019/20

As of the 2019/20 academic year, graduates from Harvey Mudd College had the highest starting salary, at 90,700 U.S. dollars, as well as the highest mid-career salary at 161,800 U.S. dollars.

Top universities in the United States

One of the top universities in the United States, Harvey Mudd College, is located in Claremont, California. Not only do graduates earn the highest salaries after graduation, they also pay the most. In the academic year of 2018-2019, Harvey Mudd College was the most expensive school by total annual cost. The best university in the United States in 2019 belonged to Harvard University, which consistently leads the pack as the top school.

The Ivy League

The Ivy League is a group of eight private universities in the Northeastern United States. It is not only a collegiate athletic conference, but also a group of highly respected academic institutions. They are usually regarded as the best eight universities in the United States and the world. They are extremely selective with their admissions process. However, these universities are extremely expensive to attend. Despite the high price tag, students who graduate from Princeton University have the highest early career salary out of all Ivy League attendees in 2019. This is compared to the overall expected starting salaries of recent college graduates across the United States, which was less than 35,000 U.S. dollars.

U.S. colleges whose graduates (All Alumni) earn the most in 2019/20, ranked by starting and mid-career salary

Starting salary*Mid-career salary**
Harvey Mudd College90,700161,800
Stanford University83,500161,400
Massachusetts Institute of Technology89,900159,400
United States Naval Academy85,000158,800
California Institute of Technology89,900156,900
Harvard University77,700156,500
SUNY Maritime College74,700156,300
United States Military Academy83,500155,000
Princeton University76,800154,300
Dartmouth College73,100152,700
Yale University73,900151,500
University of Pennsylvania75,000149,500
Babson College71,400149,400
Santa Clara University70,400146,700
Duke University73,500146,600
United States Air Force Academy77,800146,500
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences79,600145,900
Stevens Institute of Technology76,200145,800
Webb Institute80,900145,800
Georgetown University67,700145,400
Claremont McKenna College71,100144,800
Washington and Lee University67,000144,700
Lehigh University70,500143,700
Colgate University67,300143,700
Colorado School of Mines76,200143,600
United States Merchant Marine Academy82,900143,500
University of California-Berkeley72,100143,300
Brown University69,300142,600
Williams College68,500142,200
Worcester Polytechnic Institute75,200142,100
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Release date

August 2019


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Salary combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime, and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable.
Salary does not include equity (stock) compensation, which can be a significant portion of pay for some executive and high-tech jobs. In addition, salary does not include cash value of retirement benefits, or value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).

* Starting Employees are full-time employees with five years of experience or less in their career or field who hold a bachelor's degree and no higher degrees.
The typical (median) starting employee is 25 years old and has two years of experience.

** Mid-Career Employees are full-time employees with at least 10 years of experience in their career or field who hold a bachelor's degree and no higher degrees.
The typical (median) mid-career employee is 42 years old and has 15 years of experience.

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