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Top 10 colleges to attend if you want to make a lot of money—Harvard and Yale didn’t make the list

By | Kamaron McNair |

Many factors determine how much money you’ll earn after college. But where you go to school may also play an important role.

If your goal after college is to earn the highest possible salary, California Institute of Technology may be the best choice, according to a new New York Times ranking tool. The tool allows you rank colleges based on your own priorities, whether that’s post-grad earnings, net price, campus safety or more. 

The Times used Department of Education data to inform the tool’s rankings, and specifically looked at median income in 2020 among those who attended the schools 10 years ago — regardless of completion — and received federal aid. 

Former Caltech attendees earn a median income of $112,166 a decade after starting school, making them the highest earners among the nearly 900 colleges ranked. 

Only two Ivy League schools — known for their top academic rankings, along with strong records of churning out high-earners — make the top 10 for highest median incomes.

The best colleges for high earnings

Overall, the median annual income for all full-time workers ages 25 to 34 — roughly the age range of those who would have started college 10 years ago — was $52,832 at the end of 2022, Labor Department data shows

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