10 Affordable Colleges Where Fresh Grads Make $50,000 or More

Here's another interesting post from our friends at InvestingAnswers. Check it out: 

Whether you're looking to attend college for the first time or returning in the midst of a slow economy to develop your career, one thing has remained certain for decades: A college degree is your best bet in earning a larger paycheck. According to the College Board, workers who held a bachelor's degree earned 66% more money than those who didn't have one and accumulated a tidy $335,811 more over a 46-year working life than those without degrees.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: 5 Ways to Save on College Tuition]

There's just one major challenge in getting that lucrative new degree -- how to pay for it. Annual tuition and fee costs for a public, four-year college have skyrocketed by 72%--from $4,793 in 2001 to $8,244 in 2011, according to the College Board's 2011 data. And the cost of going to college out of state soars astronomically from there--an annual average of $20,770 last year for a four-year degree at a public school. No wonder the typical college graduate owes an average of $25,250 in student loan debt upon graduation.

Thankfully, you can avoid that problem: Find schools with lower-than-average tuition cost (sorry, that means no Ivy League budget-busters) where graduates earn higher-than-average starting salaries. That will get you on the right track to pay off those college loans soon after graduation and start building a healthy financial future.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: How You Could Slash Your Student Loan Debt (If You Hurry)]

There's some research involved in finding just the right educational deal, but we've done all the heavy lifting for you. Using tuition figures from US News and World Report and historical starting salary data from Payscale, we've found 10 four-year public colleges around the country that boast annual, in-state tuitions under $10,000 and offer plenty of bang for your education buck. In fact, graduates from these schools typically land a median starting salary of more than $50,000 upon graduation, which is more than 17.5% higher than the typical new grad's starting salary of $42,569.

Here are 10 four-year public colleges where graduates earn excellent starting salaries for a great value (listed from highest to lowest tuition):

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  • Chelsey

    This is interesting, but not very useful unless you live in a state where one of these colleges is located. You wouldn’t save money by attending any of these schools as an out-of-state student.

    • JenInBoston

      Massachusetts residency can be established very quickly. Given the savings of in-state tuition and the general quality of higher ed here, it can be worth it to take a “gap year” in MA and establish in-state residency. I did that and it worked.

  • MartyHott

    I’m a proud Texas Aggie graduate and can testify to how fabulous of a university it is.  I am actually using much of my classroom schooling in the real world and can say as much for many of my Aggie friends as well, including those who have gone on to being lawyers, doctors, and engineers.  Another great aspect of the school is that it really encourages and fosters getting involved in organizations outside of the classroom.  I’m definitely a proud Aggie for very good reason!