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Published on July 26th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby


Schools with the Best Average Starting Salaries in California – Study

Most college students are on a tight budget for four years, making minimum wage at the pizza place on campus – but when graduation comes, who’s earning the most dough? A recent study by SmartAsset measures exactly that – finding the schools where graduates earn the highest average starting salaries.

For a look at the leaders in California, check the table below:

RankSchoolCityAvg. Scholarships and GrantsAvg. Starting SalaryCollege Tuition*Student Living CostsStudent Retention RateStarting Salary Index
1Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, CA$34,661$88,800$54,636$19,79297%100.00
2California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA$39,500$84,100$49,908$18,99398%91.17
3Stanford UniversityStanford, CA$47,106$79,000$49,617$19,49299%81.58
4University of California-BerkeleyBerkeley, CA$18,993$70,700$14,170$22,81997%65.98
5Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara, CA$26,392$69,900$49,858$19,58195%64.47
6Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CA$8,682$66,300n/an/an/a57.71
7California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoSan Luis Obispo, CA$6,755$65,600$9,432$17,72194%56.39
8University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA$37,647$64,500$54,259$17,95097%54.32
9University of California-San DiegoLa Jolla, CA$18,306$63,400$14,018$18,14594%52.26
10Art Center College of DesignPasadena, CA$16,566$63,200$42,008n/a83%51.88

These rankings are based on one of the key factors in SmartAsset’s overarching study on America’s Best Value Colleges. Additional information on the study and methodology can be found here:

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.

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