Dominican University Makes the List of 2021 Best Colleges in the U.S. by Salary Score

When making decisions about higher education, one of the top considerations for students is how their degree will impact their career and salary. Higher education is a significant financial investment, and we believe salary is a critical metric of student success. This list highlights schools whose alumni earn high salaries in the year after graduation, regardless of their field of study. The schools on this list are ranked by our proprietary Salary Score, which reflects how much alumni make compared to alumni of the same programs at other colleges. To be considered for our rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 10 bachelor’s programs. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

Our research found that 86 of the top 100 schools for earning potential were private colleges, and the top 19 schools were private nonprofit institutions. We also found that only six out of the eight Ivy League schools were listed in the top 25 schools for earning potential. This finding highlights the fact that, while prestigious universities do often produce highly paid graduates, there are many non-elite institutions whose graduates earn comparable salaries across a range of industries.


  • Colleges with the highest Salary Score for bachelor’s degrees are overwhelmingly private universities, accounting for 86 of the top 100 schools
  • Minnesota graduates fared especially well at the bachelor’s level when the cost of living was factored in – Minnesota had the fifth-highest median Salary Score at the state level but falls just above the national average for living expenses
  • Thomas Edison State University, an online institution that primarily serves adult learners, held the #1 spot for public schools based on alumni salaries, ahead of University of California-Berkeley