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Colleges Graded By Graduates’ Earning Power

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(The University of Pennsylvania campus.  File photo)

(The University of Pennsylvania campus. File photo)

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - While parents and students await eagerly each year the U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities based on a variety of measures, James Stewart in The New York Times, suggests that the scales don’t answer the most important question: how much will graduates earn.

However, PayScale.com just came out with its rankings of more than 1,000 institutions by average earnings of their graduates. It calculates return on investment and the percentage of grads holding jobs with what’s called “high meaning.”

There is a strong correlation between reputation and selectivity. Ivy League grads do well on both measures with Princeton sixth and Harvard eighth based on midcareer median salaries. There’s a notable gender gap with Wellesley, Barnard, Smith and Bryn Mawr ranking low, explained by PayScale as not enough grads in science and technology.

Harvey Mudd College is first in engineering rankings and there are others surprises. Question: will a place to learn help you earn?

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