As if Rice University needed more bragging rights, a new study calculates that students who attend Houston’s vaunted Ivy League of the South have the highest initial earning potential among Texas graduates.
Financial website SmartAsset ranked the top 10 Texas colleges where students earn the best average starting salaries upon graduation. Rice tops the list, with students earning an average of $65,700 in their first job out of school.
The salary ranking is part of a larger SmartAsset study that looked at five factors (tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, retention rate, and starting salary) to determine the best value colleges and universities. Rice also comes in No. 1 on that list. Rice students pay an average of $42,253 tuition and $16,000 in living costs; that’s offset by an average of $36,192 in scholarships and grants.
These findings come in an era where students are taking on staggering amounts of debt vs. future income. The average annual growth rate for the cost to attend a four-year university between 1989 and 2016 was 2.6 percent per year, compared to a low 0.3 percent annual growth in wages, according to SmartAsset.
Another Houston-area school follows at No. 2 on the salary report. Students of The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston earn an average of $60,000 upon entering the workforce. (Tuition and living costs were not released, nor were scholarship and grant numbers.)
Here is the breakdown of the 10 Texas schools with the highest starting salaries:
- Rice University, Houston, $65,700
- The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, $60,000
- The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, $57,800
- Texas A&M University, College Station, $57,200
- The University of Texas, Austin, $56,900
- LeTourneau University, Longview, $55,300
- Southern Methodist University, Dallas, $55,000
- Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, $54,300
- The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, $53,600
- Texas Tech University, Lubbock, $49,375