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Colleges That Bring in the Highest Paychecks

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Location, prestige, academic reputation, and tuition are major factors for students in the college selection process, but post-graduation salary is rarely taken into consideration.

Although salaries depend heavily on a graduate’s field of work, companies are willing to pay a premium for students hailing from the country’s top universities. But which undergraduate institutions offer the most valuable degrees?

Recently, Payscale.com released a report on the highest salary potential among 1,058 of the nation’s colleges. Based on this data, colleges and universities can be ranked by the mid-career median salaries of its graduates.

For schools with the same mid-career median salaries, starting median salary determines their relative rank. In the case of a tie in this number, the school with the higher starting salary is ranked higher.

The ranking considered only people with undergraduate degrees, which ruled out post-graduate degree holders, such as lawyers and medical and pharmacy professionals.

Of the following top 10 highest earning schools, their graduates earn an average of $122,500 at mid-career, which is up nearly 5 percent over last year.

As a few points of comparison, the bottom 10 schools’ graduates earn an average of $44,490 at mid-career, and the top party school by salary potential is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a mid-career salary of $95,900.

So, which schools have highest-paid graduates?

Stanford University

Mid-career median salary: $114,000
Starting median salary: $58,200

Location: Stanford, Calif.
College rank: 6 (tie)
Acceptance rate: 7.1%
Enrollment: 6,988

Babson College

Mid-career median salary: $117,000
Starting median salary: $56,700

Location: Babson Park, Mass.
College rank: unranked
Acceptance rate: 33.8%
Enrollment: 2,007

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Mid-career median salary: $117,000
Starting median salary: $56,800

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
College rank: 139
Acceptance rate: 68.2%
Enrollment: 1,939

Lehigh University

Mid-career median salary: $118,000
Starting median salary: $56,900

Location: Bethlehem, Penn.
College rank: 38
Acceptance rate: 33.4%
Enrollment: 4,869

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mid-career median salary: $118,000
Starting median salary: $68,400

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
College rank: 6 (tie)
Acceptance rate: 9.7%
Enrollment: 4,384

U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point*

Mid-career median salary: $120,000*
Starting median salary: $76,000*

Location: West Point, N.Y.
College rank: 18
Acceptance rate: 10.6%
Enrollment: 4,624

U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis*

Mid-career median salary: $122,000*
Starting median salary: $72,200*

Location: Annapolis, Md.
College rank: 14
Acceptance rate: 7.5%
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,576

*Data represent those in the civilian labor force, not active service members.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Mid-career median salary: $127,000
Starting median salary: $67,400

Location: Pasadena, Calif.
College rank: 10
Acceptance rate: 12.8%
Enrollment: 978

Harvey Mudd College

Mid-career median salary: $135,000
Starting median salary: $66,800

Location: Claremont, Calif.
College rank: 12
Acceptance rate: 22.3%
Enrollment: 777

Princeton University

Mid-career median salary: $137,000
Starting median salary: $58,300

Location: Princeton, N.J.
College rank: 1 (tie)
Acceptance rate: 8.46%
Enrollment: 5,249

Colleges That Bring in the Highest Paychecks” was provided by CNBC.com.