Compare Top Colleges with Salary Scores

GradReports has compared the salaries of over 4.6 million college graduates to determine Salary Scores for over 2,281 schools and 885 degrees. See how colleges stack up.

2021 Best Colleges by Salary Score

We ranked the best colleges for a bachelor’s degree based on overall bachelor’s Salary Scores from a pool of over 900 eligible colleges. Each college’s Salary Score is based on a comparison of alumni salaries across the same program at each school and weighted by student enrollment in each program. Data is sourced from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard and reflects median alumni earnings in the first year after graduation for students who received federal financial aid. View our methodology.

Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Harvard University Cambridge (MA) Cambridge (MA) $51,925 99.54
#2 #2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge (MA) Cambridge (MA) $53,790 99.13
#3 #3 Yale University New Haven (CT) New Haven (CT) $55,500 98.90
#4 #4 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $57,770 98.85
#5 #5 Dartmouth College Hanover (NH) Hanover (NH) $57,638 98.84
#6 #6 Georgetown University Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $56,058 98.68
#7 #7 Santa Clara University Santa Clara (CA) Santa Clara (CA) $53,634 98.23
#8 #8 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $57,119 97.66
#9 #9 Stanford University Stanford (CA) Stanford (CA) $53,529 97.52
#10 #10 Dominican University of California San Rafael (CA) San Rafael (CA) $46,940 97.21

Press Mentions

GradReports understands that students must trust the sites they are using in their education decision making process. We are dedicated to keeping you updated with new data, insights, and trends. GradReports rankings and research has been mentioned in several publications, including:

Optimal Choice Colleges

Our list of Optimal Choice colleges highlights schools that offer high alumni salaries and low tuition, meaning they have a Salary Score above the 60th percentile and below-average tuition. We researched the salary and tuition information of over 1,700 schools to find the colleges that have strong returns without the high price tag.

Best Colleges by Major

Optimal Board Advisor

Richard Vedder, distinguished higher education change advocate, serves as a board advisor for GradReports, advising on content and contributing editorials. As an advisor, he supports Optimal's core mission of adding data-driven information to the higher education space and setting students up for career success.

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder

Professor Emeritus at Ohio University, Author, & Higher Education Change Advocate

Athens, OH

Vedder is an esteemed figure in the higher education sector, with a Ph.D in economics from University of Illinois and an impressive tenure of advocating for higher education change. He writes frequently for numerous notable outlets including Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Opinion, and Inside Higher Ed. He has also authored several books regarding issues within the higher education sector, including "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much" and "Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America." Much of his writing challenges the current American higher education system and proposes solutions for economic, societal, and institutional changes.

Read more >

Trends & Insights

Our expert editorials provide a deep-dive into relevant and timely higher education topics, trends, and questions. All of our articles are informed by our proprietary data, investigative research, and thoughtful insights.

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Schools Students Love

Browse our collection of over 34,000 reviews for more than 2,000 colleges to find out what students are saying about the schools you're considering. Learn which schools students recommend the most and which ones had a positive impact on career growth. See how your college stacks up, and explore a selection of colleges with great reviews below.

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