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Leading U.S. colleges by starting and mid-career pay of graduates 2020/21

As of the 2020/21 academic year, graduates from Harvey Mudd College had the highest starting salary, at 91,400 U.S. dollars, as well as the highest mid-career salary at 162,500 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 2020/21, ranked by starting and mid-career salary

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Source

Release date

August 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

2020

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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