Alumni of most colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey earn more than the national average, according to new data released this weekend by the federal Department of Education.
The data release, part of a White House "College Scorecard" initiative to make college statistics readily available online, includes information on the median earnings of students after ten years and median federal debt of graduates upon completion.
Nationally, former students who received federal financial aid earn $34,343 ten years after graduating. (This number includes all schools, including those with four-year and two-year degree programs.)
The federal data lists 153 schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that primarily award bachelor's degrees. Of these, 134 have median alumni earnings above the national average.
Topping the list are three private schools: University of the Sciences ($85,800), Stevens Institute of Technology ($82,800), and University of Pennsylvania ($78,200). Stevens Institute of Technology is located in Hoboken, N.J., while the other two are in Philadelphia.
Of the public colleges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, New Jersey has some of the highest-paid alumni: New Jersey Institute of Technology ($65,300), The College of New Jersey ($56,800), and Rutgers University ($54,800).
Several large universities with multiple campuses reported the same data for all of their campuses, so Rutgers University lists the same debt and earnings information for its New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden campuses.
University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University similarly duplicate information for their campuses.
The highest public Pennsylvania schools are the University of Pittsburgh ($48,200), Penn State, and Temple University ($46,500).
Among institutions primarily granting associate's degrees, the highest-paid alumni in Pennsylvania come from Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, in Lancaster, earning a median of $53,100 ten years after graduating, while University of Pittsburgh at Titusville alumni earn $48,200. Valley Forge Military College, in Wayne, has alumni earnings of $47,700.
The top New Jersey two-year colleges are County College of Morris ($40,200), Raritan Valley Community College ($38,300), and Middlesex County College ($36,200).
The federal data includes information on median federal debt load for those who complete their degrees, which is also expressed as monthly payments over ten years.
For-profit schools' graduates have many of the highest federal debt loads.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's graduates have median federal debt of $40,022, according to the federal data.
(Strayer University and University of Phoenix are also listed at the top of the federal debt list, but the largely online for-profits list the same information for all locations across the country.)
Peirce College, a private four-year college in Philadelphia, sees median federal debt of $39,162.50, or $434.78 in monthly payments.
Other four-year public and non-profit schools that have alumni with large median debt loads are Lincoln University of Pennsylvania ($33,830), Bloomfield College ($31,000), Cheyney University of Pennsylvania ($31,000), Cedar Crest College ($30,575), and Albright College ($28,910).
Of the 153 schools granting primarily bachelor's degrees, nine had federal debt less than $20,000: Swarthmore College ($19,000), Lancaster Bible College ($18,750), New Jersey City University ($18,000), Baptist Bible College & Seminary of Pennsylvania ($16,288.50), Haverford College ($13,852.50), Thomas Jefferson University ($12,500), Thomas Edison State College ($11,289.50), Princeton University ($6,810), and Beth Medrash Govoha ($5,500).