Does a Degree From a Respected School Mean Good Money?

Photo (cc) by redjar

Two new rankings of American colleges are out. One of them, from U.S. News & Report, judges schools by criteria ranging from class size to acceptance and graduation rates.

The other ranking, from PayScale, focuses on money — how much graduates from certain schools make. Are the results linked?

In a comparison of the two lists, The New York Times says yes. “There’s a fairly high correlation between the reputation and selectivity-weighted rankings of U.S. News and the future earnings measures of PayScale,” the Times says. But there are surprises, too. For instance:

  • A degree from a prestigious liberal arts school doesn’t mean lots of money. Grinnell, ranked No. 17 on the U.S. News list of liberal arts colleges, ranks No. 366 on PayScale’s list of mid-career median salaries.
  • Women’s colleges that rank high on the U.S. News list rank similarly low on PayScale’s because the schools produce few graduates in high-paying fields such as engineering and technology.
  • “Elon University, ranked by U.S. News as the No. 1 regional university in the South, is a distant 587 on PayScale’s list,” the Times says.
  • Engineering schools generally rank high on both lists, but not always. The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., ranks No. 20 on PayScale’s, but was unranked by U.S. News. (However, it was No. 1 in a separate ranking of undergraduate engineering programs at schools that don’t offer a doctorate.)

U.S. News told the Times it doesn’t factor in post-graduation income because there aren’t enough data.

PayScale, meanwhile, uses data from 1.4 million college graduates. But it says pay isn’t the only measure schools should be judged by — just an important one.

“Jobs are harder and harder to come by, student debt is huge, and the costs of schools are rising faster than inflation,” economist Katie Bardaro, who worked on PayScale’s survey, told the Times.

Do you think a comprehensive college ranking should include earnings? Do you put any stock in college rankings to begin with? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 U.S. Jobs That Are Disappearing Fastest
10 U.S. Jobs That Are Disappearing Fastest

Think twice before pursuing these shrinking occupations.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest
13 Affordable Products for a Better Night’s Rest

These Amazon products can help you finally catch 40 winks — or more.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.