Payscale--really?? You want to use Payscale??
Yes, I agree, there are some issues with the payscale.com data. It is self-reported. It is non-random. It deliberately excludes anyone with a graduate degree. Etc. On the other hand, it is a large sample. The methodology is well-described. The company's Director of Quantitative Analysis does not appear to be a complete bonehead (About Al Lee
). The results establish some fairly clear and consistent trends (e.g. in engineering v. arts & science) that are not in my opinion wildly inconsistent with common sense.
Payscale is not a crystal ball for predicting outcomes for any individual, school, or major. But from the perspective of this data, the OP at least has some empirical basis to consider whether there is likely to be a positive salary spread large enough to justify the significant cost difference, in light of family resources.