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California Ranks Sixth in Graduate Earnings

-Editorial

A new study from Teach Simple has unveiled the states with the highest and lowest median university earnings. Using data from the U.S. Department of Education, education experts analyzed institutions in each state based on the median earnings of individuals who began college 10 years ago. The study also examined the average annual cost for students receiving federal financial aid and the average graduation rate within eight years of entering the school.

Massachusetts leads the nation, with graduates earning a median annual salary of $65,319. The average annual cost of attending a school in Massachusetts is $26,268, and the state boasts a graduation rate of 67 percent.

Rhode Island ranks second, with graduates earning a median annual salary of $64,818. Institutions in Rhode Island have a graduation rate of 68 percent, and the average cost of tuition is $29,083 per year. 

Connecticut comes in third, with graduates earning a median of $64,720 annually. A year’s tuition in Connecticut costs an average of $22,889, and the state has a graduation rate of 59 percent.

Maryland follows, with graduates earning a median of $60,286 annually. The average cost of tuition in Maryland is $18,103 per year, and the state has a graduation rate of 58 percent.

The District of Columbia ranks fifth, with graduates earning a median of $59,364. The average annual cost of attending a school in D.C. is around $25,000, and it has a graduation rate of 40 percent.

California ranks sixth, with graduates earning a median of $58,675. The state features several high-performing institutions, such as the University of California, San Diego, with an impressive graduation rate of 86.7%, and Occidental College, with a graduation rate of 86.5%.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Illinois round out the top ten highest-earning states.

At the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico has the lowest median earnings, with graduates earning a median of $38,417. The annual cost of tuition in New Mexico is $14,833, and the graduation rate is 46 percent.

Mississippi follows, with graduates earning a median of $39,235 annually. The state’s graduation rate is 45 percent, and a year at school costs around $13,750. 

Arkansas ranks third lowest, with a median annual earning of $41,481. The cost of tuition in Arkansas is $14,143 per year, and the graduation rate is 47 percent.

North Dakota places fourth lowest, with graduates earning a median of $43,000 annually. The state’s tuition costs $12,867 per year, and the graduation rate is 40 percent.

West Virginia rounds out the bottom five, with graduates earning a median of $43,333. The cost of tuition in West Virginia is $14,500 per year, and the graduation rate is 44 percent.

Florida, Idaho, Alabama, Montana, and Arizona complete the list of the ten lowest-earning states.

Cole Vineyard, Founder of Teach Simple, commented on the findings:

“Education is extremely beneficial for economic success. Individuals with higher levels of education will have access to better job opportunities, higher salaries, and greater job security.

“Tuition costs can also vary based on the geographic location of the institution. Universities in urban areas with higher costs of living may have higher tuition to cover expenses.

“More prestigious universities tend to have higher tuition fees as students are willing to pay more for the reputation and networking opportunities offered by these institutions.

“In addition, policies and regulations, such as minimum wage laws, tax policies, and labor regulations, differ across states and therefore impact earnings across institutions. States with higher minimum wages or more worker-friendly policies may offer higher earnings for workers across all sectors.”

California’s educational institutions showcase a range of graduation rates, with top performers including the University of California, San Diego (86.7%), Occidental College (86.5%), the University of California, Davis (84.2%), and Pepperdine University (84.1%).

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