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Want a Big Paycheck? Top 15 Colleges by Graduate Salary, 2011

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Location and cost are two of the biggest reasons students decide to attend one college over another. The majors and degrees offered are also important factors, and parents and students are starting to pay more attention to colleges’ graduation rates, too.

Newly released data from the salary calculation site Payscale.com provides information on the earning potential of some of the nation’s top colleges. Salaries depend on a variety of factors, particularly the graduate’s chosen field, but the mid-career and starting median salaries of graduates from these colleges and universities is rather impressive. Go ahead and take a peek!

1. Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA

  • Mid-career median salary: $126,000
  • Starting median salary: $68,900
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $40,390
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 757
  • Acceptance rate: 34%

2. Princeton University in Princeton, NJ

  • Mid-career median salary: $123,000
  • Starting median salary: $58,900
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $36,640
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 5,113
  • Acceptance rate: 10%

3. Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH

  • Mid-career median salary: $123,000
  • Starting median salary: $54,100
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $40,437
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 4,196
  • Acceptance rate: 13%

4. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

  • Mid-career median salary: $121,000
  • Starting median salary: $57,300
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $38,416
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 6,655
  • Acceptance rate: 7%

5. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA

  • Mid-career median salary: $120,000
  • Starting median salary: $69,900
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $36,282
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 951
  • Acceptance rate: 15%

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

  • Mid-career median salary: $119,000
  • Starting median salary: $68,300
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $39,212
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 4,232
  • Acceptance rate: 11%

7. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

  • Mid-career median salary: $119,000
  • Starting median salary: $60,200
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $39,201
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 6,602
  • Acceptance rate: 8%

8. Colgate University in Hamilton, NY

  • Mid-career median salary: $119,000
  • Starting median salary: $48,700
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $41,870
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 2,825
  • Acceptance rate: 32%

9. Duke University in Durham, NC

  • Mid-career median salary: $117,000
  • Starting median salary: $55,300
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $40,472
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 14,350
  • Acceptance rate: 19%

10. Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA

  • Mid-career median salary: $115,000
  • Starting median salary: $55,800
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $42,342
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 3,543
  • Acceptance rate: 30%

11. Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO

  • Mid-career median salary: $113,000
  • Starting median salary: $61,600
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $13,425 in state, $27,855 out of state
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 3,675
  • Acceptance rate: 63%

12. University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA

  • Mid-career median salary: $113,000
  • Starting median salary: $49,700
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $29,630
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 2,620
  • Acceptance rate: N/A

13. University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN

  • Mid-career median salary: $112,000
  • Starting median salary: $54,100
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $39,919
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 8,372
  • Acceptance rate: 29%

14. Polytechnic Institute of New York in Brooklyn, NY

  • Mid-career median salary: $111,000
  • Starting median salary: $62,100
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $36,284
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 1,732
  • Acceptance rate: 55%

15. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

  • Mid-career median salary: $111,000
  • Starting median salary: $59,600
  • 2010-2011 tuition: $40,514
  • Total undergrad enrollment: 9,768
  • Acceptance rate: 18%

Sources Payscale and MSNBC

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Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.


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