Colleges That Bring the Highest Paycheck 2011
courtesy of CNBC

by Paul Toscano

Location, prestige, academic reputation and tuition are major factors for students in the college selection process, but post-graduate salary is something rarely taken into consideration.

Although salaries depend heavily on a graduate’s field of work, companies are willing to pay a premium for students hailing from the nation’s top universities. But which undergraduate institutions offer the most valuable educations?

Recently, PayScale.com released a report on the highest salary potential among the nation’s top colleges, and from this data, colleges and universities can be ranked by the mid-career median salaries of its graduates. For schools with the same mid-career median salaries, starting median salary determines their relative rank.

So, which schools have highest paid graduates?

Princeton University

1. Princeton University

Mid-career median salary: $130,000
Starting median salary: $56,900

Location: Princeton, N.J.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,640
College rank: 2 (National)
Acceptance rate: 10.1%
Total undergrad enrollment: 5,113

2. California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

Mid-career median salary: $123,000
Starting median salary: $69,600

Location: Pasadena, Calif.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,282
College rank: 7 (National)
Acceptance rate: 15.3%
Total undergrad enrollment: 951

3. Harvey Mudd College

Mid-career median salary: $121,000
Starting median salary: $64,400

Location: Claremont, Calif.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,390
College rank: 18 (Liberal Arts)
Acceptance rate: 34.1%
Total undergrad enrollment: 757

4. Harvard University

Mid-career median salary: $116,000
Starting median salary: $54,100

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $38,416
College rank: 1 (National)
Acceptance rate: 7.5%
Total undergrad enrollment: 6,655

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mid-career median salary: $115,000
Starting median salary: $69,700

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
2010-2011 tuition: $39,212
College rank: 7 (National)
Acceptance rate: 10.7%
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,232

6. Dartmouth College

Mid-career median salary: $114,000
Starting median salary: $51,600

Location: Hanover, N.H.

7. Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Mid-career median salary: $113,000
Starting median salary: $61,000

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
2010-2011 tuition: $36,284
College rank: 153 (National)
Acceptance rate: 55%
Total undergrad enrollment: 1,732

2010-2011 tuition: $40,437
College rank: 9 (National)
Acceptance rate: 12.6%
Total undergrad enrollment: 4,196

8. Duke University

Mid-career median salary: $111,000
Starting median salary: $59,600

Location: Durham, N.C.
2010-2011 tuition: $40,472
College rank: 9 (National)
Acceptance rate: 18.9%
Total undergrad enrollment: 6,578