There are many factors to consider when selecting a college. Students will look at the cost of the school, its location, and how competitive the admission, among many other factors. Ironically, there’s a factor that is often overlooked; how much money do students make upon graduation? Across the country, there are many public colleges who produce alumni that make good salaries throughout their careers. However, some public colleges have graduates who make more on average than graduates from other schools. If you’re curious about which public colleges grads make the most money on average, take a look through this list.
1) Colorado School of Mines
Students who graduate from the Colorado School of Mines generally make more than graduates of many other public schools. According to PayScale, the median early career salary for graduates from Colorado School of Mines in $71,900. The typical mid-career salary is $136,100. Colorado School of Mines, which students often shorten to “Mines,” is located in Golden, Colorado. It specializes in engineering and applied sciences, and they offer degrees in Mining Engineering, Geology & Geological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geophysics, Chemistry, Physics, and more. Mines has a 40% acceptance rate. On average, admitted students have SAT scores between 1370-1470 and ACT scores between 29-32. As of the 2017-2018 school year, the tuition cost for in-state students is $18,386, and the cost for out-of-state students is $36,436.
2) University of California-Berkeley
The median salary for Berkeley graduates who are in the first five years of their career is $66,600. For graduates who have 10 years or more of experience in their field, the median salary is $136,900. This California state school offers a wide variety of academic programs. Some of their colleges include the College of Engineering, the College of Natural Resources, the Haas School of Business, and the College of Letters and Sciences. In 2017, Berkeley’s acceptance rate for students from California was 19.7%, and their out-of-state student acceptance rate was 22.1%. In 2017, Berkeley admitted 15,567 students in total. On average, students accepted to Berkeley have an ACT score between 30-34 or an SAT score between 1290-1480. The cost for tuition and fees for in-state students is $14,098. For out-of-state students, the cost of tuition and fees is $42,112.
3) Rutgers University-New Brunswick
At this New Jersey state school, the median salary of graduates early in their career is $56,600. The median salary for mid-career Rutgers graduates is $111,400. Rutgers is a huge university, with a total enrollment of 50,146. There are also many different schools at the university, including the School of Arts and Sciences, Mason Gross School of Arts, the Rutgers Business School, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the School of Engineering. They have a 57% acceptance rate, and most of their accepted students had SAT scores between 1250-1430 and ACT scores between 26-32. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $14,372, and it’s $30,023 for out-of-state students. If you want to live on campus, the average cost of room and board is $12,260.
4) San Jose State University
The median early career salary of students who graduate from San Jose State University is $58,500. For graduates who are mid-career, the median salary is $108,700. This university is part of the California State University system, and it’s located in San Jose. The university has been around since 1857, making it the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. Through their eight colleges, they offer 145 majors, and they also have an additional 108 certificate programs. If you’re thinking of applying this year, SJSU has a 53% acceptance rate as of Fall 2016. The average SAT score for admitted students is 1120, and the average ACT score is 23. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $9,397, and the cost for out-of-state students is $16,379.
5) Texas A&M University-College Station
This public school in Texas produces graduates who often make high salaries throughout their careers. The median salary for early career graduates is $57,200. For graduates who have been working in their field for ten years or more, the median salary is $112,400. This large state school is located in College Station. It has 65,302 students enrolled in the school in total, and they admit 66% of students who apply. The average SAT score for students who are admitted to the school is 1250. The average GPA of students who are accepted is 3.55. If you’re a Texas resident, your yearly tuition cost at Texas A&M will be $10,030. If you’re an out-of-state student, the tuition cost here is $30,208. If you’d like to live in a dorm at the school, the average cost of room and board is $10,368.
6) The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is another Texas public school where grads often make good salaries. The median salary for early career graduates is $56,900. The median salary for mid-career graduates is $107,400. Plus, 49% of UT Austin graduates say that they feel that their career is meaningful and helps make the world a better place. This school has a total enrollment of 51,331 students. The cost per year for in-state students is $10,136, and it’s $35,766 for out-of-state students. The cost of living on campus is $10,070. UT Austin has a relatively competitive acceptance rate of 40%. On average, their accepted students have SAT scores of 1160-1390 and ACT scores of 26-33. About 90% of students at UT Austin are Texas residents, 8% are from out-of-state, and 2% are international.
7) California Polytechnic State University
The median salary for Cal Poly graduates who are early in their career is $61,100. Once they reach the middle of their career, that number jumps up to $114,700. This state university is based in San Luis Obispo, and there are 21,000 students enrolled in the school. Cal Poly offers 60 different majors in a wide variety of fields, including Agricultural Science, Anthropology, City and Regional Planning, Software Engineering, Statistics, and much more. They have a competitive acceptance rate of 29%, and on average, their accepted freshmen have SAT scores of 1300. The average GPA score for their accepted students is 3.92. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $9,432, and the cost for out-of-state students is $21,312. If you want to live on campus, the cost for room and board is $13,115.
8) SUNY Maritime College
SUNY Maritime College ranked fourth on PayScale’s list of Best Colleges and Universities by Salary Potential. It ranked so highly because the median salary for early career SUNY Maritime graduates is $71,600, and the median salary for mid-career alumni is $145,100. This New York state university specializes in maritime studies, and it helps prepare students for the global maritime industry. They offer 10 majors, all of which relate to the maritime industry. This includes five Bachelor of Engineering programs and five Bachelor of Science programs. They have 1,832 students enrolled in their school in total, and they have a 58% acceptance rate. The average SAT score of an accepted student is 1170. The cost of tuition and fees for in-state students is $7,784, and the cost is $17,724 for out-of-state students.
9) Georgia Institute of Technology
The median salary for Georgia Institute of Technology graduates who are early in their career is $68,100. For graduates who have been in the field for 10 years, the median salary is $128,700. This technical institute is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and it’s home to about 26,839 students. They have six different colleges that offer courses in Computer Science, Business, Design, Engineering, and more. They also offer courses in Economics, Literature, Communications, and more through their Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. In 2017, they admitted 45% of applicants from Georgia and 18% of out-of-state applicants. Their admitted students had average SAT scores of 1360-1490 and average ACT scores of 30-34. The tuition cost for in-state students is $12,418, and the cost for out-of-state students is $33,014. If you’d like to live on campus, the cost of room and board is $14,126.
10) University of Virginia
If you’re thinking of going to the University of Virginia, you’ll be happy to hear that the median salary for graduates early in their career is $61,200. Once graduates hit the middle of their career, that number jumps up to $123,500. This state school is located in Charlottesville, and it has a large student body, with a total enrollment of 23,898. If you’re an in-state student, the cost of tuition is $16,146. If you’re coming to the school from out-of-state, the cost of tuition and fees for you will be $46,975. If you want to live in a dorm on campus, the cost is $11,220. In total, 69% of students at UVA are from Virginia and 31% are international or from out-of-state. On average, students accepted to the school have an SAT score of 660-740 for Reading and Writing and 660-760 for Math. The average ACT score for accepted students is 31-34.
11) University of Washington-Seattle
Students at University of Washington’s Seattle campus have a median salary of $57,300 when they’re early in their career. Once they reach the mid-point of their career, their median salary jumps up to $108,800. UW was founded all the way back in 1861, and since then it has grown into a large school that’s known as a top-notch research institution. In total, there are 46,165 students enrolled at UW’s Seattle campus. Sixty-one percent of those students are Washington residents, 22% percent are from out-of-state, and 15% are international. UW has an acceptance rate of 45%, and their accepted students have average SAT scores of 1180-1370 out of 1600. On average, accepted UW students have ACT scores of 27-32. If you’re a Washington resident, UW will cost you $10,974 per year, and if you’re from out-of-state, your tuition will be $35,538.
12) University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
If you’re thinking of becoming a Wolverine, you’ll be happy to hear that the median salary for University of Michigan graduates early in their career is $60,900. The median salary for University of Michigan alumni who are mid-career is $111,400. University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus is their largest campus, and it has a total enrollment of 44,718 students. The acceptance rate for this school as of Fall 2016 is 29% percent, and admitted freshman had average SAT scores of 1350-1530. The average ACT scores for admitted students are 31-34. The school has a large population of out-of-state and international students, and there are students from all 50 states and 122 countries. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $14,286, and the cost for out-of-state students is $47,476.
13) University of California-Los Angeles
If you’d like to go to college in sunny, star-studded Los Angeles, you’ll be excited to hear that UCLA grads make good salaries on average soon after graduating. The median salary for early career alumni is $59,400, and the median salary for alumni who are mid-career is $119,900. Even though UCLA is a state school, it attracts many out-of-state students—just 56.3% of students admitted in 2017 were California residents. The school is also very competitive to get into, with a 16.1% acceptance rate. On average, students who were admitted to UCLA had SAT scores between 1280-1500, and their ACT scores were between 30-34. The average GPAs for admitted students was between 4.13-4.31. In total, there are 44,947 students enrolled at UCLA. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $13,256, and tuition is $41,270 for out-of-state students.
14) SUNY Stony Brook
This New York state university is located on Long Island, and its graduates generally make good salaries soon after graduation. The median early career salary for Stony Brook students is $54,300, and it’s $108,800 for mid-career alumni. Stony Brook was founded in 1957, and in the 60 years it’s been around, it has grown into a reputable research institution that offers 64 different majors. There are currently 17,364 undergraduates studying at Stony Brook, and there are 8,625 graduate students. Freshmen who were accepted into Stony Brook for Fall 2017 had SAT scores between 1240-1380 on average. Their ACT scores were between 26-31 on average, and they had GPAs between 3.6-4.0. Overall, Stony Brook had an acceptance rate of 42.1%. If you’re entering Stony Brook as a New York resident, it will cost you $9,257. For out-of-state students, the cost of tuition is $26,297.
15) University of California-San Diego
The University of California-San Diego has the second-highest median alumni salaries of all the California state schools. The median salary of UC San Diego graduates who are early in their career is $58,600, and the median salary for alumni who have reached the middle of their career is $124,900. The university is located right by the Pacific Ocean in San Diego’s La Jolla neighborhood, providing great views for students while they’re studying. For the Fall 2017 semester, UCSD received 88,463 applications and they admitted 30,204 students, giving them a 34.1% acceptance rate. The middle 25%-75% of students who were accepted had SAT scores between 1250-1470, ACT scores between 29-34, and GPAs between 4.04-4.28. The cost of in-state tuition for the 2017-2018 school year is $16,183, and it’s $44,197 for out-of-state students.
16) University of Maryland-College Park
On average, students who go to the University of Maryland’s main campus in College Park make good salaries early in their career. The median salary for graduates who are just starting their career is $57,600. Once graduates reach the mid-point of their career, this number jumps up to $107,100. The University of Maryland was founded in 1856, and it’s known as being a reputable research institution. As of Fall 2017, there are 28,472 students enrolled at the University of Maryland. In total, 76.2% of those students are Maryland residents and 23.4% are out-of-state and international students. For Fall 2018, the University of Maryland received 34,000 applications and accepted 4,075 students, giving them a 11.9% acceptance rate. The average SAT scores for admitted students ranged from 1320-1470, and their ACT scores ranged from 30-33. The cost of in-state tuition for this school is $10,399, and it’s $33,606 for out-of-state students.
17) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
If you’re considering Virginia Polytechnic Institute, you’ll be happy to hear that the median salary of graduates who are just starting their career is $58,600. For graduates who have been working in their field for at least 10 years, that number jumps up to $110,200. Virginia Tech is home to nine different colleges and schools, and altogether, they offer 110 bachelor’s degree programs. Their main campus is huge, and it includes 213 buildings and its own airport. If you’re looking to go to Virginia Tech as a freshman, the average SAT score for freshmen entering in Fall 2017 was 1268. The average GPA for students offered admission was 4.03. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $13,230, and the cost for out-of-state students is $31,014. If you’re thinking of living on campus, the cost for room and board is $8,690.
18) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Students who graduate from the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus often make high salaries right from the beginning of their career. At this school, the median salary for alumni who are early in their career is $58,600, and it’s $109,600 for graduates who are at a later point in their career. UI’s Urbana-Champaign campus was voted the 52nd best school in the entire nation by US News and World Report. They ranked it so highly because it’s a top-notch research institution with tons of opportunities for students. If you’re hoping to go into this school as a freshman, know that the average SAT scores of students admitted in 2017 were 1360-1480. The average ACT scores for incoming freshmen in Fall 2017 were 27-33, and the average GPAs ranged from 3.37-3.89. If you’re an Illinois resident, the cost of tuition is $15,868. For out-of-state students, it’s $31,988.
19) New Jersey Institute of Technology
This New Jersey technical institute is located in Newark, and many of its graduates make a good salary soon after leaving school. The median salary for graduates early in their career is $60,800, and the median salary for mid-career graduates is $119,700. NJIT is smaller than many other state schools, with just 8,008 undergraduate students. They offer a wide variety of science, math, and engineering majors, as well as some Liberal Arts programs, including Communications, History, and Interior Design. NJIT has a 61% acceptance rate, and their accepted students have average SAT scores of 1193. The average GPA for accepted freshmen is 3.57. The cost of tuition for in-state students is $16,430, and it’s $31,034 for out-of-state students. If you want to live on campus, the cost of room and board is $13,700.
20) University of California-Davis
At the University of California’s Davis campus, the median salary for alumni who’ve just started their career is $56,700. For graduates who are at the mid-point of their career, the median salary is $110,900. Davis is located in Central California, close to Sacramento. There are 29,546 undergraduate students enrolled at the school, and they have four different colleges: The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Sciences. In Fall 2017, they had 70,968 applicants and accepted 30,945 students, giving them a 43.6% acceptance rate. The middle 25%-75% of their students had SAT scores between 1190-1430, and they had ACT scores between 26-32. If you’d like to go to UC Davis, the cost of in-state tuition is $14,382, and out-of-state tuition is $42,396.