Many students choose their school based on location, cost and school reputation, but it’s important to remember that your degree is a stepping stone toward a fulfilling career. One often overlooked statistic is the average salary earned by graduates. While you might assume that a degree from the most expensive, selective or prestigious school will offer graduates a higher average salary it turns out that this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, of the top 10 historically black colleges (ranked by starting average salary) the least expensive school offers graduates the highest average salary.
Average Salary: Consider the Return on Your Investment
Two important things to notice in these rankings are the total enrollment and the tuition of each of these schools. Don’t simply choose a school based on average earnings … consider if you’ll be more comfortable in a smaller school or a larger school and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each size. If you learn better in smaller classes with a stronger sense of community enrolling in a smaller school could allow you to excel and position you for success upon graduation.
Concerning tuition, consider this: if you have to take out a number of student loans to pay for a lofty tuition over four years will you be able to afford to pay your loans upon graduation? Consider the percentage of your annual salary which, upon entering the workforce, will be siphoned toward repaying your tuition. Some students attending an expensive school could expect over $900 each month in loan payments within years of graduation. How will this affect your quality of life after you subtract monthly rent, utilities and the cost of food from your monthly income? Only you can decide what sort of life you want to have but keep in mind that higher education is a prelude to the rest of your life. Choose the school that’s right for you, but do so with your eyes open and be realistic about what you can expect as a return on the investment you’re making. If you do you’ll be well ahead of many of your peers!
Top 10 Historically Black Colleges by Starting Average Salary
|Rank||College Name||Average Salary||Tuition||Location|
|1||Prairie View A&M University||$49,300||$4,062||Prairie View, TX|
|2||Bowie State University||$46,400||$4,547||Bowie, MD|
|3||Hampton University||$46,300||$16,888||Hampton, VA|
|4||Tuskegee University||$44,700||$17,070||Tuskegee, AL|
|5||Morehouse College||$44,200||$21,616||Atlanta, GA|
|6||Xavier University of Louisiana||$42,300||$16,900||New Orleans, LA|
|7||University of Maryland Eastern Shore||$41,900||$4,362||Princess Anne, MD|
|8||Howard University||$41,700||$19,150||Washington, DC|
|9||Morgan State University||$41,500||$4,540||Baltimore, MD|
|10||Southern University and A&M College||$41,400||$5,074||Baton Rouge, LA|
Keep Perspective About Average Salary Statistics
Maintain some perspective when reading these rankings. It’s important to remember that graduates in different fields of study can expect to earn more or less than each average salary listed above. Teachers in a rural school, for example, may start out earning less than $30,000 per year while a graduate in finance or economics who earns a job on wall street could expect to earn significantly more. When choosing a school don’t forget to evaluate the particular program you plan to study (including faculty members, special facilities offered on campus, etc.) and choose a school that offers you both a rich undergraduate experience and the opportunity to have a fulfilling career after graduation.
Source: The College Database, Directory of U.S. Colleges (OnlineCollegesDatabase.org): U.S. College & University Rankings: 34 Historically Black Colleges That Pay.