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Ivy Leaguers' Starting Pay

How Much Does Your Alma Mater Affect Salary Potential?


Selecting the best college for you is an extensive process of weighing various pros and cons, and a new compensation study by PayScale Inc. may introduce another factor into the equation. The year-long study involved reviewing 1.2 million workers with bachelor's degrees from 300 American schools and at least 10 years of work experience, and excluded anyone with advanced degrees.

PayScale's data concluded that bachelor's degree holders from non-Ivy schools earn less than Ivy League graduates for doing the same job. Discover more about how college choice affects salary, including which school's graduates earn the highest wages, when you read more.

  • Graduates of Dartmouth College earn the highest median salary of $134,000.
  • Columbia's graduates earn the lowest mid-career median salary ($107,000) of all the Ivy League schools surveyed.
  • The highest-paid liberal-arts-school graduates, from Bucknell University, earn a median salary of $110,000.
  • Liberal-arts-school graduates see their median total compensation grow by 95 percent after about 10 years, from $45,747 to $89,379.
  • Graduates of what the 2008 Princeton Review College Guide calls "party schools" see their incomes increase 85 percent after 10 years, from $45,715 to $84,685.
  • English majors from Harvard University earn a median starting salary of $44,500, while those from Ohio State University start their careers earning $35,000. After 10 years, the gap widens, and that 27 percent salary difference becomes 111 percent!
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