As students and the general public become more keen on prospecting colleges by how it can boost their return on investment, The Wall Street Journal has ranked institutions on how it will impact their salary for the better. The difference a degree from a top-ranked institution can make is staggering.
A degree from a university on this last can add over $94,000 on top of the $61,600 median salary earned by a 25-34-year-old in 2021. The minimum value gained from among the top 10 institutions on this list is more than $56,000, nearly doubling the average American’s median salary.
However, despite the growing public skepticism on the value of higher education, the National Center for Education Statistics states the median salary of the average American in the aforementioned demographic group with a college degree is more than $20,000 more than one with no degree.
Ranking the top 10 on added salary value
The Wall Street Journal analyzed colleges based on the added value of a degree from a specific institution and the time it will take a student to pay for that college based on its average net price. After weighing the added value against the net price, it then ranks institutions by a cumulative score.
Five Ivy League schools made this list, while only one public university (Missouri University of Science and Technology) clawed onto it. Massachusetts featured the most institutions, regardless of sector.
Here they are, ranked in no particular order.
|Institution||Net price||Value added to degree||Time to pay off net price|
|University of Pennsylvania||$14,851||$84,761||8 months|
|Princeton University (N.J.)||$11,080||$82,433||6 months|
|Columbia University (N.Y.)||$12,836||$71,540||8 months|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||$5,084||$94,213||2 months|
|Harvard University (Mass.)||$13,259||$65,114||9 months|
|Stanford University (Calif.)||$7,200||$79,187||2 months|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||$12,682||$56,672||10 months|
|Claremont McKenna College (Calif.)||$20,114||$69,374||1 year, 1 month|
|Yale University (Conn.)||$16,341||$66,961||11 months|
|Babson College (Mass.)||$31,267||$81,604||1 year, 6 months|