A college education is a huge investment of both time and money — so it’s helpful to know which schools and programs are worth it.
With that in mind, Nitro, an online resource that helps incoming college students plan their education financing, examined median student-loan debt and median earnings 10 years after graduation at the top 20 colleges and universities in the US, as ranked by US News and World Report.
The Nitro study used data from the US Department of Education (ED) to show the relationship between future earnings and the loans students took out to finance their degrees.
The median student debt at Harvard University, for example, is $6,500, and median earnings 10 years after graduation is $95,500.
The ED has data for federal loans only, so private loans are not part of this analysis. Median student debt as part of this study, therefore, is reflective of people who went to the federal government to take out loans, which means students who received financial aid from their college, or those who paid full-price for tuition without taking out loans, are not included in the analysis.
The schools listed in the study offer high earning potential while graduating students who typically have some of the lowest student debt levels in the nation. While the reasons for this dichotomy are varied, at some institutions it may relate to the generous financial aid packages the schools are able to provide. Universities like Harvard and Yale have multibillion dollar endowments and are able to provide a good deal of tuition for students in need. At these same schools, there also tend to be a large number of wealthy families who do not need to take out loans to pay the quarter of a million dollars it normally costs to graduate.
Take a look below to see how much money people are borrowing — and earning — at the top schools in the US:
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