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Students and parents always ask about the value of their college degree. An Ivy League education costs a lot of money these days. On average, tuition at these institutions costs between $55,000 and $60,000 per year. So it is only natural that students want to ensure they are getting the returns on their investment. A recent study has shown that an Ivy League education does in fact lead to higher salaries for graduates than their counterparts.
On average, Ivy League graduates earn substantially more than graduates from other four-year universities, according to the most recent data from PayScale for more than 1,500 schools, US News & World Report has published. Early-career median pay in 2022 was $86,025 for Ivy League graduates, compared to $58,643 for those who graduated from other universities. That gap grows wider when looking at mid-career median pay. Ivy League graduates earned $161,888 mid-career compared to $101,777 for those from other institutions.
There are several reasons why Ivy League graduates do better than non-Ivy Leaguers. One of these is the cost of attendance. The average annual cost to attend an Ivy League school after financial aid, or net price, is $23,234, according to U.S. News data. The net price for ranked non-Ivy League schools was more than $32,000. Additionally, Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale fill out the top three spots on U.S. News's Best Value Schools list. All three of these schools have "no loans" policies, which means they pledge to meet students' full financial need without requiring them to take out any loans. The remaining Ivy League schools, with the exception of Columbia University, which elected not to answer the most recent U.S. News survey, are all in the top 20 Best Value Schools, and most also have a no loans policy.
Having an Ivy League degree on your resume carries a lot of weight, experts say, and it can also open doors that might ordinarily be closed. Experts say students at Ivy League schools tend to have access to influential people and major companies that students at other schools often don't. While at Yale, Pimentel-Mora says renowned medical experts, entertainers and authors have spoken to her classes. The Yale Office of Career Strategy also regularly hosts information sessions and networking events with major companies such as Goldman Sachs. So students have access to better-paying jobs if they attend Ivy League schools.