2021 Best Colleges in Wisconsin Badge

2021 Best Colleges in Wisconsin by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

We calculated a Salary Score for each college in Wisconsin to show how schools stack up based on alumni salary. A Salary Score above 50 indicates that the alumni salaries for majors at a college tend to be higher compared to alumni salaries for the same majors at other colleges. To calculate this score, we compared the median alumni salary in the first year after completion for each bachelor's program at one college to the salaries for the same program at other schools. We then compiled these program scores to create an overall score. These are the top 25 schools in Wisconsin based on our Salary Score. As a whole, all of these colleges score better than the median for colleges in the United States, and the first- and second-ranked schools score in the top 25%.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Our Salary Score™ is based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Cardinal Stritch University Multiple Locations Multiple Locations $35,444 79.53
#2 #2 Marquette University Milwaukee Milwaukee $46,670 77.70
#3 #3 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison Madison $10,796 74.67
#4 #4 Carroll University Waukesha Waukesha $36,190 64.54
#5 (tie) #5 (tie) University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse La Crosse $9,232 64.51
#5 (tie) #5 (tie) University of Wisconsin - River Falls River Falls River Falls $8,135 64.51
#7 #7 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie Menomonie $9,663 63.34
#8 #8 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire Eau Claire $8,914 63.31
#9 #9 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater Whitewater $7,864 63.12
#10 #10 Wisconsin Lutheran College Milwaukee Milwaukee $33,762 62.25
#11 (tie) #11 (tie) Marian University - Wisconsin Fond du Lac Fond du Lac $30,000 61.83
#11 (tie) #11 (tie) University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh Oshkosh $7,795 61.83
#13 #13 Carthage College Kenosha Kenosha $34,500 61.29
#14 #14 University of Wisconsin - Platteville Platteville Platteville $7,862 60.10
#15 #15 Lakeland University Plymouth Plymouth $31,786 59.99
#16 #16 Edgewood College Madison Madison $33,550 59.68
#17 #17 Saint Norbert College De Pere De Pere $43,204 58.00
#18 #18 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay $7,873 57.77
#19 #19 Viterbo University La Crosse La Crosse $31,150 56.91
#20 #20 Concordia University - Wisconsin Mequon Mequon $33,062 55.53
#22 #22 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point Stevens Point $8,376 53.90
#23 #23 University of Wisconsin - Parkside Kenosha Kenosha $7,466 53.35
#24 #24 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee Milwaukee $9,620 51.71
#25 #25 University of Wisconsin - Superior Superior Superior $8,167 51.16

2021 Best Colleges in Wisconsin Highlights

Multiple Locations
Salary Score 79.53
Annual Tuition $35,444
Graduation Rate 51%

Four of the undergraduate programs offered at Cardinal Stritch University have a Salary Score of 90 or higher: management information systems and services (98), teacher education and professional development, specific levels and methods (97), business administration, management and operations (94), and allied health diagnostic, intervention, and treatment professions (91). In addition to receiving the highest Salary Score, the management information systems and services programs are the highest earning, with a median salary of $76,460.

School Overview:

Cardinal Stritch University is a small, private university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The school is affiliated with the Franciscan church. Students have the opportunity to fully customize their major or design a new one by selecting from courses and concentration options within each program. All of Cardinal Stritch University’s full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. Renewable scholarships are available for incoming first-year students, including donor-funded, Franciscan heritage scholarships, performing arts, athletic, and service scholarships. In addition, students who make an official campus visit during their college search can receive a $500 yearly scholarship upon enrolling full-time.

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Salary Score 77.70
Annual Tuition $46,670
Graduation Rate 83%

Marquette University’s highest ranked undergraduate fields of study are communication, journalism, and related programs, with a Salary Score of 97. Many of the school’s degrees in business also perform well against similar programs at other schools; programs offered by Marquette in business - corporate communications, business administration, management, and operations, international business, and entrepreneurial and small business operations all earned a Salary Score of 89 or higher. Marquette’s computer engineering and construction engineering bachelor’s programs are its highest earning fields of study, with median salaries of $74,580 and $72,900, respectively.

School Overview:

With its campus situated in downtown Milwaukee, Marquette University is a medium-sized, private, Roman Catholic school with approximately 8,200 undergraduate students. Marquette offers funding opportunities through the Brewed Ideas Challenge, the Dorm Fund, and the Explorer Challenge as part of an effort to promote innovation and student-led ventures. Marquette University operates an extension of its campus in Washington, D.C., at the Les Aspin Center for Government. Students from Marquette and other universities can spend a semester or summer at the center while interning at non-profits, private corporations, and political offices.

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Salary Score 74.67
Annual Tuition $10,796
Graduation Rate 89%

The University of Wisconsin - Madison offers two undergraduate programs with a Salary Score of 99: management sciences and quantitative methods, and animal sciences. Programs in marketing, journalism, insurance, and drama/theatre arts and stagecraft all received a Salary Score of 98. The two top earning fields of study are computer engineering and management sciences and quantitative methods. Graduates of these majors make a median salary of $83,770 and $79,980, respectively.

School Overview:

The University of Wisconsin - Madison is a branch of the University of Wisconsin system. It is a large, public university with about 30,000 undergraduate students. The institution spends approximately 1.3 billion dollars yearly to support research, landing it in the top ten nationally ranked schools by the National Science Foundation. Incoming students can participate in the First-Year Interest Group (FIG) program, which places them in a cohort of students with similar academic interests that takes a cluster of courses together, including a first-year seminar. Programming for students in the FIG program often includes experiences outside the classroom, such as field trips.

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