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Princeton Prof: Success Is About the Student, Not the School

When you made the selection of what college to attend for your undergraduate degree, you might have considered how the institution on your diploma could affect your salary potential. PayScale released data that ranks schools in terms of the salaries graduates command after 10 years in the workforce, and the results are similar to last year's rankings with Dartmouth grads earning the highest median salary.

The rankings lead to some interesting conclusions about the effect graduating from an elite school can have on your professional salary and which majors are bound to make the most money. It's mostly repetitive of last year's findings and their PayScale's medians don't tell the whole story, but one statement from a couple of outside researchers stood out as something different. To see what they concluded,


Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton professor and Treasury official, and Stacey B. Dale at Mathematica Policy Research, have done research that concludes success is more about the student than the particular school. Their bottom line: "Hard-working, ambitious students will do well wherever they go. The opposite applies to mediocre or lazy students. The one exception was lower-income students. For them, the college mattered more."

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