25 Private Colleges Whose Graduates Go on to Earn the Most Money

Eventual earning prospects are the most important metric for some students when deciding which college to attend.

Fortunately, economic data analysts at Emsi have crushed the numbers that matter to reveal the higher educational establishments offering bachelor's degree alumni the highest average wages.

Dr. Stuart Muller, director of custom consulting for higher education at Emsi Burning Glass, explained his team evaluated the overall quality of outcomes for each institution by "quantifying average wages across all alumni in our professional profiles data."

This involved attributing earnings from the Occupational Employment & Wages Statistics (OESW) program at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces annual wage estimates for nearly 800 occupations.

Researchers used the national median wage by occupation, featuring only those institutions with more than 1,000 profiles in Emsi's database and excluding smaller arts colleges.

In an email to Newsweek, Dr. Muller added: "By using the national average OEWS wage we are attempting to quantify outcomes based on the quality of the professional role that completers attain rather than the particulars of any salary they may earn—i.e. based on the *kind* of job obtained, not on the financial specifics of their hire.

"An important advantage of these assumptions is they effectively allow us to assess institutional outcomes for a somewhat idealized world where an individual's gender, race, ethnicity, or location do not impact the quality of their job and wages (with the important caveat that while this method does control for how these factors may affect an individual salary, it cannot control for how demographics have affected which programs individuals enroll in and thus which occupations they are likely to find employment in)."

Take a look through the private U.S. colleges whose graduates go on to earn the most money.

25. Villanova University ($99,874)

Villanova University
The Commons at Villanova University Andrew McKeough/Getty Images

Villanova University is a private, Catholic, coeducational, research higher education institute run by the Order of Saint Augustine in Villanova, Pennsylvania

Popular majors in Villanova University include finance, nursing and communications.

24. Columbia University ($100,345)

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S.

Undergraduates in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering can choose from nearly 100 areas of study

23. Tufts University ($100,677)

Tufts University is a private research university on the border of Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts, founded in 1852 by Christian universalists who sought to open a nonsectarian institution of higher learning.

The college's students enroll in one of three schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, or the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

22. Emory University ($100,738)

 Emory University
Overview of Emory University Campus. Courtesy of Emory University

Emory University is a private research university in Atlanta and the second-oldest private institution of higher education in Georgia.

Business, nursing, and biology are popular majors at this Methodist-founded university.

21. Northwestern University ($100,812)

Founded in 1851, Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois and is ranked among the world's most prestigious academic institutions.

Popular majors at this mid-sized include economics, psychology and journalism.

20. Carnegie Mellon University ($101,008)

Founded in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Students at this world-renowned top-25 institution become experts in fields ranging from business, the fine arts and computer science to humanities, the sciences and engineering.

19. Stevens Institute of Technology ($101,031)

Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology demerzel21/Getty Images

Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research university in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Incorporated in 1870, it is one of the oldest technological universities in the U.S and was the first college in America solely dedicated to mechanical engineering.

18. Johns Hopkins University ($101,157)

The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland and is considered the first of its kind in the U.S.

The most popular majors are currently considered to be public health, neuroscience and neurobiology and cellular biology.

17. Worcester Polytechnic Institute ($101,878)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private research university in Massachusetts.

WPI's students focus on subjects including engineering, science, technology and mathematics.

16. Georgetown University ($102,239)

Georgetown University
An autumn landscape panorama of Potomac river Theodore Roosevelt Island (left) and a small pedestrian bridge is seen. Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge and Georgetown University is in the background Grandbrothers/Getty Images

Georgetown University is a private Jesuit research establishment in a neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Popular majors at this mid-sized institution include political science and government, international relations and finance.

15. Brown University ($102, 135)

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university founded in 1764 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Admissions to this elite university are extremely competitive as the Brown acceptance rate is only 7 percent, while popular majors include computer science, biology, and economics.

14. Rice University ($102,183)

Rice University, is a private research university on a 300-acre campus in Houston, Texas.

Boasting a 6:1 student-faculty ratio, Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science and nanotechnology.

13. Vanderbilt University ($102,845)

Vanderbilt University
Campus of Vanderbilt Unversity in Nashville, Tennessee SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

Vanderbilt University includes four undergraduate schools and six graduate schools situated on a 330-acre campus sitting in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee.

The college is noted for its departments in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development.

12. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ($102, 960)

Situated in Troy, New York, Rensselaer Polytechnic institute is America's oldest technological research university.

Popular majors at the private college include computer science, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.

11. Cornell University ($103,441)

Cornell is a large and highly rated private university located in Ithaca, New York.

With an acceptance rate of 11 percent, admissions are extremely competitive at Cornell, where popular majors include biology, computer science, and hospitality and tourism management.

10. Lehigh University ($103,864)

Lehigh University
Alumni Memorial Building, Lehigh University CynthiaAnnF/Getty Images

Lehigh University is a private research university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania established in 1865.

Popular majors at the college, where 90 percent of students graduate, include finance, mechanical engineering and computer science.

9. University of Notre Dame ($104,438)

Notre Dame is a highly rated private, Catholic university located in Portage Township, Indiana.

Popular majors at the mid-size institution which graduates 96 percent of its students include finance, economics, and political science and government.

8. Dartmouth College ($106,212)

Established in 1769, Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Admissions at this small institution are extremely competitive and popular majors include economics, political science and government, and engineering science.

7. Yale University ($106,414)

Yale University
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut Benyapha soomhirun/Getty Images

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut and the third-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S.

As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and 31 living billionaires have been affiliated with Yale University.

6. Duke University ($106,935)

Founded in 1838, Duke University is a private research college in Durham, North Carolina.

Popular majors at this elite mid-size Christian institution include computer science, economics and public policy analysis.

5. University of Pennsylvania ($107,275)

Founded in 1740, meaning the college was chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia.

Admissions are extremely competitive as the Penn acceptance rate is only 8 percent and popular majors include finance, management sciences and information systems, and philosophy.

4. Princeton University ($107,833)

Princeton University
Students walk on campus at Princeton University on February 4, 2020 in Princeton, New Jersey William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university located in New Jersey and the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S.

Popular majors at the mid-sized institution which graduates 98 percent of students include computer science, economics and public policy analysis.

3. Harvard University ($108,086)

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The college is the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. and among the world's most prestigious.

Harvard University also topped the list in the 90th percentile metric, $225,021.

2. Stanford University ($108,345)

Stanford is an elite private university located in California's San Francisco Bay Area.

Admissions are extremely competitive as the Stanford acceptance rate is only 4 percent and popular majors include computer science, engineering and biology.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($108,900)

Established in 1861, MIT has since played a key role in the development of modern technology and science, ranking it among the world's most prestigious academic institutions.

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, popular majors at this most elite small educational institution include computer science, mechanical engineering and mathematics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
erial view of Great Dome of Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) at night, Cambridge, Massachusetts Wangkun Jia/Getty Images

Correction 7/19/21, 10:24 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to reflect that Emory University was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church.