Brookings report shows which colleges boost earnings

April 30, 2015

Do you wish you were making more money? If you didn’t attend Cal Tech, perhaps you should have. Cal Tech places first in a new report from Brookings that ranks colleges according to how much they can boost your career earnings.

The report, by Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell, uses a “value added” approach that measures actual outcomes against predictions of what an alum could have been expected to achieve. For example, the actual mid-career salary of a Cal Tech graduate is $126,200, vs. a predicted mid-career salary of $77,129. Consequently, Cal Tech offers a “salary value added” of 49%.

The predicted salary is based on student characteristics such as academic preparation, race and ethnicity, and family income. The method is an attempt to isolate the effects of the colleges themselves on individual outcomes from characteristics independent of the colleges.

Other schools with top value-added ratings include MIT, Rose-Hulman, and Stanford. The online version of the report includes an interactive feature that lets you examine the data for nearly 7,000 U.S. colleges and universities (including two-year colleges).

You can access the interactive report here.

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