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Colleges with the Highest Starting Salary

Colleges with the Highest Starting Salary

Before even completing high school, the one thing almost every student thinks about is choosing the college they want to go to. They have to manage multiple things simultaneously; keeping up with application deadlines, looking for scholarships, finalizing the universities that offer their preferred courses, and much more.

Colleges with the Highest Starting Salary

However, the most important factors that establish a final shortlist of colleges are always related to the budget and return on investment. Higher education is so expensive that people spend years trying to pay back their student debt.

But if a college can ensure that you will be well off right after graduation, you don’t have much to worry about. So, if you are an aspiring college student, you might want to check out this list of colleges in the country with the highest starting salary post-placement.

Colleges with the Highest Starting Salary

According to studies and reports, a student who just graduated from college can earn $55,260 on average.

However, the colleges we enlisted below have starting salaries higher than the average figure. So, here, have a look!

1. Princeton University

Starting average salary: $107,000

Princeton University is one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools. It was founded in 1746 in Princeton, New Jersey, making it one of the oldest higher education institutes in the United States.

While the school offers many courses for every discipline, it is famous for its engineering program, and many students go for it. Although it is difficult to seek admission here, if you are aiming for an Ivy League, it is easy to start off well in the job market with a degree from Princeton.

2. Samuel Merritt University

Starting average salary: $93,900

Very few universities focusing on health sciences are famous for their promising and well-paying career. SMU is one of them. It is a private, not-for-profit university based in Oakland, California, founded in 1909.

The university has a countrywide reputation for producing a considerable number of nurses. It is affiliated with Sutter Health Network and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

So, if you wish to have a progressive career in the health sciences as a therapist or nurse, SMU should be one of your top options.

3. Yale University

Starting average salary: $101,850

As it is another one from the Ivy League, you can already understand why the position of these schools is special. Yale is one of the oldest universities, founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut.

It offers courses for all disciplines and has a curriculum that exposes its students to interdisciplinary learning. Yale prioritizes understanding of language, humanities, and writing while giving students the liberty to focus on their preferred courses.

This university is great for college aspirants planning to pursue their interests in performing arts and earn a handsome salary post-placement.

4. Pomona College

Starting average salary: $90,200

This non-Ivy League college was once ranked first by Forbes for its extensively interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum.

However, the acceptance rate of Pomona is pretty low, seeing how they maintain a small student body for discussion-based classes and closer interactions between instructors and pupils, which are demanded by liberal arts education.

It balances language, arts, and social sciences equally with sciences and mathematical reasoning. So, if you want to learn a combination of disciplines and earn a good starting salary, Pomona is a great college to opt for.

5. Harvey Mudd College

Starting average salary: $91,400

This Claremont-based private college offers STEM courses and is a part of Claremont Colleges.

Most students here graduate to become software, mechanical or electrical engineers, serving a few popular positions in the job market. It ranks high for all its engineering departments among other technical colleges in the country.

The college is also considered unique for providing liberal arts education, despite being an engineering school. They focus on creating a socially aware understanding of the sciences for their students.

6. Duke University

Starting average salary: $100,900

Founded in 1838, Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina. The university is well-known for more than just academics. It values extracurriculars like athletics, arts, community service, and many other achievements.

While most of its student body goes for a computer science major, some also study in other disciplines apart from this one major.

The university offers a vast number of courses to choose from. Hence, the students here get exposure to a diverse set of disciplines, along with earning a nice income after placement.

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Starting average salary: $88,300

No one needs to have a remote interest in engineering to know about the prestigious MIT institute. It was founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

While this university is famous for its excellent engineering departments and post-placement starting salaries, it offers political science, economics, linguistics, and philosophy courses. It follows a more focused learning curriculum with no system of majors but only courses.

Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to get into this university. So, before applying to this institute, you should keep your grades for high school’s senior year and competitive exams in mind.

8. Washington and Lee University

Starting average salary: $96,800

Washington and Lee is a private liberal arts university founded in 1749 in Lexington, Virginia. This university is relatively smaller than the other schools on the list.

It consists of 2 schools concentrating on 2 different disciplines for undergraduates. The first one is a commerce school called the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics. It offers all business and administration-related degrees and courses.

On the contrary, the second one is the liberal arts school called “The College,” which offers around 40 majors to its students.


Choosing a college or university is undoubtedly a stressful affair. But planning things out beforehand and discussing with teachers, counselors, family members, senior students, and even classmates can help clear your confusion.

It might get a bit complicated to consider job prospects after graduation in choosing your college. But balancing the starting salary post-placement and the field you want to pursue is essential to getting the best out of your college education.

So, good luck with choosing your desired college!


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