Ranking: Top 50 Colleges for Financial Success
The University of Pennsylvania is the top school when it comes to colleges that make their grads richer.
Penn outperformed Princeton University and other Ivy League schools in The Wall Street Journal’s Salary Impact ranking, which focuses on the impact of an undergraduate degree on alumni earnings. To determine the impact of a school’s degree on salary, the Journal collaborated with research partner Statista, examining graduate earnings from two perspectives:
* Comparing graduates’ salaries to what students with similar demographic profiles might be expected to earn, regardless of the college they attended
* Evaluating graduates’ salaries in relation to the cost of their education at the school
PENN TOPS THE RANKING
At top-ranked Penn, the median graduate salary 10 years post-enrollment is more than $84,000 more than what a high-school graduate in Pennsylvania would earn. The university’s grads also exceed predicted earnings at a higher rate than any other institution in the rankings.
Some attribute the success of Penn alumni to the number of professional clubs and real-world opportunities that it offers its students.
“You get access to a large network of alumni who have done great things in different fields you can reach out to,” Braeden Voyticky, a junior at Penn, tells The Wall Street Journal. “A company like BCG will come to Penn, and you already have that connection of going to Penn, like ‘Oh yes, I took this class, I took that class,’—a natural icebreaker.”
STEM COLLEGES DOMINATE TOP 20
A number of STEM-focused colleges made the top 20 in the list, including Missouri University of Science and Technology, Michigan Technological University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Alexander Kwapisz, who’s on track to graduate from Michigan Tech at the end of 2024, says the school’s electrical-engineering opportunities made choosing to attend an “easy decision.”
“It has the reputation that it’s difficult,” but you do well financially after graduation, says Kwapisz. “I feel that that is a motivational factor for many people. They know that despite the troubles of midterm exams and study stresses and time crunches, that it’s all going to be worth it in the end for them because they’ll turn out a lot better in life.”
“Michigan Tech conditioned me to deal with difficulties and problems and problem solving itself,” says Kwapisz, who recently wrapped up an internship at Honeywell International. “When it comes to colleges, it’s not just career advancement and career development; it’s a complete development of who you are.”
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