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Sure, people go to college to find themselves, but mostly they go to find a good paying job.
However, not all colleges are created equal. Yes, just like what you major in, where you go to school has major implications for your future earning potential. Some colleges set up students for success, while others leave them bogged down with student loans and scrambling for a job. We dove into the data to find the public college in each state with the highest earning graduates.
You’ll see each state’s money maker in a second, but first, here are the top 10:
The 10 Public Colleges Where Graduates Earn The Most
Graduates at these 10 successful colleges have earnings ranging from $68,800 to $114,200.
Your state didn’t make the top 10? Scroll down to the bottom to see which university in your state has the most to offer graduates. Otherwise, keep reading to see how we uncovered the public colleges that pay off the most.
Using the most recent College Scorecard data, we looked at the public schools in each state with the highest average earners 10 years after entry.
This translates to the average earnings of graduates working 10 years after entry. We figured 10 years gave everyone plenty of time to finish further education (masters, etc), land a professional job, and further their career.
We only focused on public four-year institutions that primarily offer bachelors degrees, so no private colleges or community colleges were included in the study.
Read on for a closer look at the top 10 states, then a list of each state’s top earning school at the end:
Average Earnings: $114,200
The University of Maryland is the #1 college for earnings with graduates from the University of Maryland Baltimore on average earning $114,200. This impressive number is significantly higher than other public schools on the list. The second entry is almost $30,000 below what UMB graduates can expect to pull in.
Average Earnings: $85,900
Anyone looking to study in a warm weathered climate and pull in a fat paycheck should consider Georgia Tech. In addition to being a leading research university with a strong engineering program, Georgia Tech graduates on average earn $85,900.
Average Earnings: $79,400
The University of Virginia sits in Charlottesville which had the hottest job market of 2019. This means that UVA graduates don’t have to look far to land a well paying job and start working their way to the average salary of $79,400 a year.
Average Earnings: $79,000
The University of California, Berkeley is the oldest college in the University of California system. California has some of the strongest public universities in the nation, so Berkeley beat out steep competition to nab this spot. Berkeley graduates earn on average a healthy $79,000. That’s really nice.
Average Earnings: $79,000
Michigan graduates on average earn $79,000 ten years after enrolling in UM. In addition to offering students a healthy earning potential, Michigan is a renowned research institution and leader in biomedical science, engineering, medicine, and more. Go Wolverines.
Average Earnings: $73,900
University of Texas, Austin graduates on average earn more than any other Texas University. Longhorn students get a strong education that sets them up for success in the job market upon graduations. Additionally, UT Austin has a great track record of providing excellent opportunities for veteran students.
Average Earnings: $70,900
Nestled in between Urbana and Champaign is the University of Illinois. Students who attend the U of I on average earn more money than any other public Illinois university (and more than all but 6 colleges on our list.)
Average Earnings: $70,300
New Jersey’s best public school for future earning potential is the New Jersey Institute of Technology. NJIT is located in bustling Newark and 10 years after enrollment students on average bring in a cushy $70,300 a year. If the name doesn’t give it away, NJIT is know for all things STEM, making it the perfect school for someone looking to pursue a career in science and tech.
Average Earnings: $69,600
The University of Washington is a research focused university ideally situated next to Seattle’s vibrant and booming tech scene. In addition to research, UW Seattle is known for its competitive computer science and engineering programs that give students a leg up when entering the job market. 10 years after graduating UW, students are earning on average $69,600.
Average Earnings: $68,800
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a top notch public college that offers promising prospects to students. UNC Chapel Hill earn a healthy $68,800 10 years after graduating.
Where you go to school is undeniably important. While no college can guarantee you a job or any of the above impressive salaries, some colleges simply offer better job placement opportunities and more robust alumni networks.
However, take heart, the college you go to is simply one part of the equation. Your work ethic, hustle, and choice of major are other important components that impact your lifetime earnings. With that being said, all of the colleges below have a proven track record of setting their graduates up for success.
The Public College In Each State With The Highest Graduate Earnings
|Alaska||University of Alaska Anchorage||$51,200|
|Arizona||University of Arizona||$56,000|
|Arkansas||University of Arkansas||$52,700|
|California||University of California-Berkeley||$79,000|
|Colorado||University of Colorado Boulder||$59,700|
|Connecticut||University of Connecticut||$66,000|
|Delaware||University of Delaware||$64,000|
|Florida||University of Florida||$65,700|
|Georgia||Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus||$85,900|
|Hawaii||University of Hawaii at Manoa||$51,800|
|Idaho||University of Idaho||$47,000|
|Illinois||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||$70,900|
|Indiana||Purdue University-Main Campus||$62,200|
|Iowa||University of Iowa||$62,000|
|Kansas||University of Kansas||$59,300|
|Kentucky||University of Kentucky||$54,000|
|Louisiana||Louisiana Tech University||$49,200|
|Maine||University of Maine||$48,300|
|Maryland||University of Maryland Baltimore||$114,200|
|Massachusetts||University of Massachusetts-Amherst||$57,700|
|Michigan||University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||$79,000|
|Minnesota||University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||$61,200|
|Mississippi||University of Mississippi||$56,600|
|Missouri||University of Missouri-Kansas City||$57,200|
|Montana||Montana Technological University||$52,100|
|Nebraska||University of Nebraska-Lincoln||$52,700|
|Nevada||University of Nevada-Reno||$56,300|
|New Hampshire||University of New Hampshire-Main Campus||$57,700|
|New Jersey||New Jersey Institute of Technology||$70,300|
|New Mexico||New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology||$58,500|
|New York||Binghamton University||$68,100|
|North Carolina||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$68,800|
|North Dakota||University of North Dakota||$57,800|
|Oklahoma||University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus||$61,900|
|Oregon||Oregon Institute of Technology||$57,800|
|Pennsylvania||University of Pittsburgh-Bradford||$61,200|
|Rhode Island||University of Rhode Island||$58,400|
|South Carolina||Citadel Military College of South Carolina||$59,600|
|South Dakota||South Dakota School of Mines and Technology||$62,400|
|Tennessee||The University of Tennessee-Knoxville||$56,700|
|Texas||The University of Texas at Austin||$73,900|
|Utah||University of Utah||$63,500|
|Vermont||University of Vermont||$55,200|
|Virginia||University of Virginia-Main Campus||$79,400|
|Washington||University of Washington-Seattle Campus||$69,600|
|West Virginia||West Virginia University Institute of Technology||$52,700|
|Wisconsin||University of Wisconsin-Madison||$68,000|
|Wyoming||University of Wyoming||$54,200|
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