Students interested in analyzing the cost benefits of pursing higher education can find refuge in a new online tool that ranks the nation’s colleges based on alumni earnings in the year after graduation.
After analyzing data collected by the U.S. Department of Education in December 2020, higher education research website GradReports determined the schools with the top salary scores in every state, including Virginia and Tennessee.
GradReports analyzed more than 4.6 million college graduates from over 2,200 schools to calculate each college's salary score by comparing the median alumni earnings to median alumni earnings for the same program in other schools.
The overall score represents the combined scores for each bachelor’s program to show how alumni performed. A high salary score indicates higher salaries when compared to alumni with the same major at other colleges.
The schools with the top three salary scores in Tennessee were Vanderbilt University in Nashville (90.46), Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville (56.71) and Rhodes College in Memphis (49).
The highest scoring majors are math, social sciences, fine and studio arts at Vanderbilt University, theology and religious vocations at Trevecca Nazarene University and anthropology at Rhodes College.
King University in Bristol ranked 23rd in the state with 18.78.
“King was founded on a strong tradition of giving that helped broaden accessibility to higher education for students throughout our region,” said King University Vice President of Academic Affairs Matt Roberts. “We’re very thankful for the donors who assist us in this process, and you see the results of that individualized focus in the consistent professional success and earning potential of our graduates.”
The highest scoring majors are communication and media studies at King University.
The schools with the top three salary scores in Virginia were Washington and Lee University in Lexington (96.49), the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (80.95) and the University of Richmond (74.02).
The highest scoring majors are journalism and romance languages, literatures and linguistics at Washington and Lee University, business/commerce at the University of Virginia and accounting and related service degrees at University of Richmond.
The University of Virginia at Wise was not ranked; however, its salary score is 20. The highest scoring major is health and physical education/fitness.
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