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I'm surprised by some names on this list

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Replies to: I'm surprised by some names on this list

  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl 2845 replies106 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,951 Senior Member
    There are some pretty highly ranked LACs on that list. Wonder how this list compares to one you might see on a ROI list of the top 50 LACs.
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  • college_querycollege_query 4237 replies304 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,541 Senior Member
    It's hard to know how much trust to put in these kinds of reports. What methodology was used to come up with these numbers?

    I used to work at a university, and it was difficult contacting alums and getting them to respond to surveys. After students graduate, they don't always update their address/contact information.

    I don't think I've ever been contacted by my alma mater to report my income, and if I was, I probably wouldn't respond. And ten years after I graduated I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years, so I would have driven the average salary numbers down!
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  • donnaleighgdonnaleighg 1548 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    ^exactly. And you have no idea how many of these folks are in grad school 10 years out, and earning next to nothing. Agree I've never been contacted about salary, and I also wouldn't answer.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6402 replies195 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,597 Senior Member
    Even the federal government is struggling to pull salary info by college. They can do it for Pell Grant recipients (the national student loan data system or NSLDS), but that's about it.

    Here's the link to the Federal College Scorecard (for Albion College). You can tell this is where they are pulling income data for the list that was created.

    https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/search/?name=Albion College&sort=advantage:desc
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12450 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,681 Senior Member
    The data is from payscale. So not very useful. I also note those schools are mostly in the midwest where coa is lower.
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  • NotVerySmartNotVerySmart 1608 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,670 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Another factor, in addition to the ones listed above, is the difference in career choices between some LACs on the list and your average college. For instance, I'd be willing to bet that Oberlin sends more students than your average college to public service/policymaking professions. However, those jobs aren't always the most lucrative at first - a government salary is rarely a ticket to an extravagant lifestyle. I'd imagine that after 20-30 years (i.e. beyond the period covered by this study) such students will have the option of selling their souls to the devil and making six figures as lobbyists. They may not do so, but Oberlin will give them that option - making low earnings at that point in their careers a choice rather than a hardship forced upon them.
    edited April 2016
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76460 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,125 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    College major and career choices made by students likely have the biggest effect, and it just so happens that these colleges attract a lot of students who choose lower paying directions.

    One of the schools is UC Santa Cruz. It has its own career survey by major:
    http://careers.ucsc.edu/about/fds_reports_page.html

    Example median pay of employed graduates:
    $81,500 economics
    $79,500 computer engineering
    $71,500 computer science
    $66,908 computer game design
    $56,000 business management economics
    $52,100 electrical engineering
    $37,092 biochemistry and molecular biology
    $33,600 marine biology
    $32,364 ecology and evolutionary biology
    $31,320 overall
    $29,232 sociology
    $28,740 psychology
    $27,144 human biology
    $24,000 biology
    $20,000 marine biology

    You can probably guess that the most of the more popular majors at UCSC are among those leading to lower paid employment after graduation.
    edited April 2016
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  • sensation723sensation723 553 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 554 Member
    I believe the data because a large number of the schools on the list are graduate school feeders. If they are in grad school of course their pay would be lower.
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  • HannaHanna 14863 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    Payscale data probably excludes people with completed graduate degrees from the calculation.
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  • MagnetronMagnetron 2640 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    ^ That should be accounted for in that they use median instead of average. It is only relevant if a very high proportion are in grad school, and still in grad school when those terrible ten year salaries are reported.

    I'm surprised by Whitman, in a state where minimum wage is $9.47 but typical teenagers start at $10/hr or more. Same for Reed in Oregon at $9.25/hr minimum. Their graduates are barely above minimum wage.
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  • HannaHanna 14863 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    "It is only relevant if a very high proportion are in grad school"

    No, I'm talking about _completed_ grad school, 10 years out. Some of these comparisons only look at the graduates who stopped with an undergrad degree.
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  • MagnetronMagnetron 2640 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Sorry Hanna, I was replying to sensation723's assertion, not yours. I'm old and really slow at typing. You, Hanna, may be the most trustworthy source on this website.

    My poorly worded point is that whether or not students go to grad school would be largely irrelevant to the rest of the data. Even if they are big PhD feeder schools, most will be done and working before six years, few would be in graduate school and even fewer at 10 years. Data tend to cluster around the median and counting or discounting those in a graduate program would have little effect on the numbers.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6402 replies195 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,597 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    The data is from payscale.
    @OHMomof2
    No, it's from the Federal "College Scorecard Data" website. :-B

    https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/

    Scroll to the bottom ("featured downloads"), and the data can be downloaded, it's in the "Post-school earnings" file.

    Six Year Median Salary can be found in column "BV" (md_earn_wne_P6)
    10 Year Median Salary can be found in column "AV" (md_earn_wne_P10).

    The spreadsheet includes over 7,800 institutions, so I would recommend sorting it by institution name (column B). In fact, you can use this spreadsheet to compare several different schools, but first sorting by name and then selecting the schools you wish to compare. Some schools are missing data (NULL) and a few schools have the data suppressed (PrivacySuppressed).
    edited April 2016
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6402 replies195 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,597 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    On the source of "Earnings Income":
    Earnings −

    One of the most common reasons students cite in choosing to go to college is the expansion of employment opportunities. To that end, data on the earnings and employment prospects of former students can provide key information. To measure the labor market outcomes of individuals attending institutions of higher education, data on cohorts of federally aided students were linked with earnings data from de-identified tax records and reported back at the aggregate, institutional level.
    •Average and Median Earnings, Disaggregated by Student Subgroups
    •Share of Former Students Earning Over $25,000

    https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/documentation/

    So, it's federally aided students linked to tax records.
    edited April 2016
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12450 replies231 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,681 Senior Member
    Odd because it SAYS Payscale on the card for each school under "Sources" @Gator88NE .
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