These Are The Small Colleges With The Highest Earning Graduates By State

By McLeod Brown
Jul. 19, 2018

Find a Job You Really Want In

Money ain’t everything. But it can be a nice thing.

College is supposed to be four of the best years of your life. It’s also supposed to set you up for success. Part of that success is finding a well-paying job once you graduate.

Last year, we analyzed the schools in each state with the highest earning graduates. And we’re back at it again, recalibrating the research for this year – this time, focusing on the small colleges in each state.

We already looked at the best college in each state for getting a job. Now we’re looking at the small colleges in each state with the highest earning graduates.

You’ll find each state’s money maker in a second, but first, here are the top 10 states with the highest earning graduates:

  1. University of Maryland Baltimore – Maryland
  2. Brown University – Rhode Island
  3. Harvey Mudd College – California
  4. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Texas
  5. Amherst College – Massachusetts
  6. Lafayette College – Pennsylvania
  7. Helene Fuld College of Nursing – New York
  8. Bates College – Maine
  9. Carleton College – Minnesota
  10. Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences – Missouri

Quite the colorful list of schools we discovered. There are a couple expected names – hello, Brown – but there are plenty of lesser-known schools on the list, too.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the list of schools, whether they be liberal arts or tech. But the data speaks for itself.

How we did it

Using the most recent College Scorecard data, we looked at the school in each state with the highest average earners 10 years after entry.

For all you fellow data peeps out there, the variable we focused on for this study was MN_EARN_WNE_P10.

This translates to the mean earnings of graduates working 10 years after entry. Lucky for us, data was available for schools in every state, leading us to rank the colleges.

We also only focused on four-year institutions, so no 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:

1. Maryland

College: University of Maryland Baltimore
City: Baltimore
Average earnings: $102,900

With its average graduate making six figures 10 years after entry (more than $15,000 more than the second-ranked school on our list), the University of Maryland Baltimore has a stranglehold on the number one spot.

The institution houses schools of medicine, law, and nursing, among others, offering students multiple paths to high income careers.

2. Rhode Island

College: Brown University
City: Providence
Average earnings: $87,600

It should be expected we’d see at least one prestigious Ivy Leaguer on the list and here they are at number two.

With just a 9% acceptance rate, Brown University consistently offers one of the most rigorous yet rewarding academic experiences in the country. This ranking shows that, if you can stand the books, it’ll pay off.

3. California

College: Harvey Mudd College
City: Claremont
Average earnings: $84,900

Located on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, Harvey Mudd College is at the forefront of the STEM movement – producing skilled scientists, mathematicians, and engineers annually.

With a technically-sound background under their belts after graduation, it’s no wonder grads are compensated well for their work.

4. Texas

College: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
City: Houston
Average earnings: $82,100

These people are working towards solving cancer. They better be paid well.

Focusing on research, treatment, and the prevention of cancer, the institution serves as a degree-granting academic institution and a cancer treatment center.

Once again, they’re fighting cancer. They deserve every bit of that $80,000 plus salary.

5. Massachusetts

College: Amherst College
City: Amherst
Average earnings: $82,000

Not Harvard. Not MIT. The school with the highest earning grads in Massachusetts? Amherst College come on down!

A liberal arts institution, the school only has around 2,000 undergrads, but each is offered the chance at an honest, solid education, evidenced by the average grad raking in $82k.

6. Pennsylvania

College: Lafayette College
City: Easton
Average earnings: $81,000

Lafayette College ranks as the school with the highest earnings grads in The Keystone State, with former Leopards bringing in north of $80,000.

Barley more than 2,000 undergrads comprise Lafayette College where they’re provided a strong liberal arts education.

7. New York

College: Helene Fuld College of Nursing
City: New York
Average earnings: $79,300

With small classes focusing on producing the most well-equipped nurses in the country, Helene Fuld College of Nursing takes the top spot for New York in our study.

Located in the Big Apple, students at the school are immersed in classwork and training to become certified nurses upon graduation.

8. Maine

College: Bates College
City: Lewiston
Average earnings: $75,700

One, Lewiston is one of the most scenic and safe small towns you’ll encounter.

Two, Bates College’s undergraduate program is consistently ranked one of the nation’s best, only reinforced by our study here. With barely two thousand undergrads, Bates College offers a desirably small faculty-to-student ratio and strong academic courses, too.

9. Minnesota

College: Carleton College
City: Northfield
Average earnings: $65,600

Carleton College is recognized for its production of a large amount of Fulbright Scholars over the years. Additionally, professors at Carleton are often labeled some of the country’s best.

With a cushy $65k salary 10 years after entry, graduates benefit from the small town college’s regimen.

10. Missouri

College: Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences
City: Kansas City
Average earnings: $64,700

A nursing school located in the metropolis of Kansas City, Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences rounds out our top 10 list.

With the average grad bringing in just south of $65k, graduates of the program have the distinction of being the highest earners in The Show-Me State.

Now that we’ve gotten a closer look at the top 10 states, here’s the list of each state’s highest earning college:

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McLeod Brown

McLeod Brown is a former writer and researcher for the Zippia Career Advice blog. His work at Zippia focused on understanding the relationship between colleges, debt, and jobs. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a BA in Business Administrator, he is now pursuing a masters of science in analytics from the Institute of Advanced Analytics.

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Topics: Study