The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard is a web tool allowing users to access an array of information about the quality of colleges and universities throughout the country. It shows how much students earn 10 years after enrolling, which helps them evaluate institutions and decide how much debt to assume. Ranking Your College: Where You Go and What You Make ranks colleges and universities strictly on earnings, but then tests how sensitive the ranking of a university is when adjustments are made to earnings. The data attempts to help answer several questions: How important is student academic preparation? How much are average earnings skewed by major choice and by the selection of majors available at a particular university? What is the likelihood of graduate degree attainment?

Key Findings

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Former students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) earn $91,600 annually 10 years after initially enrolling, the highest among four-year colleges.


After adjustments for majors, student academic preparation and likelihood of graduate degree attainment, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology moves to 8th place and Harvard moves to 4th place.

Find Your College Ranking

Explore the full list of more than 1,400 colleges and universities in America using this sortable table. Find your school by searching by institution name. Sort institutions by median earnings, expected earnings and the over-under difference based on adjustments. Download the full excel sheet to see rankings that correct for differences in earnings based on majors, student’s academic preparation and the likelihood of graduate degree attainment. The data stems from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard (https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/).

Since the publication of our rankings, it was brought to our attention that the earnings data from the Department of Education for University of Colorado Denver inaccurately attributed earnings from a different campus to CU Denver, which would invalidate the rankings. The scorecard data used earnings from financial aid recipients who were at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus instead of University of Colorado Denver. Upon being informed that the data was incorrectly identified, our results have been revised to reflect this. In the earlier version of this report, the University of Colorado Denver was among the top-ranking institutions. A detailed description by the University of Colorado Denver appears here.

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Full Report

Following the U.S. Department of Education’s release of the College Scorecard, CEW developed this new set of rankings by highest earnings of former students of more than 1,400 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Ranking Your College: Where You Go and What You Make provides students and families with three different sets of rankings for schools yielding the highest salaries:

  • The first focuses purely on earnings.
  • The second adjusts for choice of major or program.
  • The third accounts for earnings, choice of major, students’ academic preparation and likelihood of graduate degree attainment.