Ivy League Salaries Higher Than Counterparts

03/02/20234 minute read
Ivy League Salaries Higher Than Counterparts
The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, we take a look at the value of an Ivy League degree and whether they earn more than their counterparts in the US. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

Ivy League Graduates Earn More Than Their Counterparts

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.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have tied for the lowest student-faculty ratio of 3:1, according to the US News & World Report. Among the 1,222 ranked colleges and universities that provided student-to-faculty ratios to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average was nearly 14:1 in fall 2022. But at the 16 schools with the lowest student-faculty ratios in fall 2022, the average was nearly one-third of that: five students for each faculty member. Out of all ranked schools, California State Polytechnic University—Pomona, where total undergraduate enrollment is 26,974, had the highest ratio: 40:1.
  2. Among the 191 ranked law schools that submitted grade data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average median GPA of entering law school students in 2021 was 3.55, US News has reported. But at the 20 highest-ranked law schools, the average median GPA is much higher – 3.86. Nineteen of those 20 schools had a median GPA that was at least 3.8, and of those, seven had a median GPA that was 3.9 or above. The School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis – ranked No. 16 in the 2023 U.S. News Best Law Schools rankings – had the highest median GPA among those schools: 3.93.
  3. Direct admissions is continuing to grow this year, Inside Higher Ed has reported. In direct admissions, students do not apply to colleges. Rather, the student makes a portfolio with their grades and other information that may help a college decide whether to extend an admissions offer. The portfolios are managed by companies, nonprofit groups and individual colleges. The calendar for direct admissions is fluid. Many colleges started admitting students in October or November.
  4. The College Board revised the official curriculum for its new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies in response to severe criticism from Governor Ron DeSantis, the New York Times has reported. The College Board removed the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and Black feminism. It also removed some politically fraught topics, like Black Lives Matter, from the formal curriculum. “Black conservatism” was added as a new research idea project.