Predict Your Future Salary Using the College Scorecard

on January 20, 2017

There are plenty of factors to consider when picking a college: location, cafeteria food and how likely the basketball team is to make it to March Madness.


But the ultimate goal of college is to graduate with enough experience and knowledge to land a job — specifically a job with a salary substantial enough to pay off student loans while not leaving you terrified to check your bank account.


Landing a job doesn’t completely depend on one’s alma mater, but the right professors, counselors and resources can make a difference in preparing students for life after graduation.


To help student get an idea of what they’re getting when they pay a college’s tuition price tag, the White House updated the College Scorecard to track recent graduates across the country.


The College Scorecard is easy to use and boasts a ton of tools to predict your financial future.


An initial search shows three factors — the cost of college after financial aid is factored in, the graduation rate and how much the average graduate earns 10 years after entering college.


You also can click on an individual school to see a cost breakdown that includes how much federal student loan debt students typically have upon graduation and about how much they will be expected to pay per month on student loans. 


There are some caveats to the College Scorecard data.


First, graduation rates only are measured for students who are enrolled in college for the first time and are attending full-time. That means part-time students and students who have transferred from another school are not counted. Additionally, the graduation rate assumes a maximum of six years to complete a degree.


Second, the data on graduate earnings only is tracked for financial aid recipients rather than everyone who attended the school.


Third, and perhaps most obvious, is that graduate earnings vary depending on major, number of internships and experiences in college. The government intends to disaggregate the data by degree level and academic major in the future.


College is an experience; one that dorm life and football games all are a part of. But, more importantly, college is an investment in your future and one that should be well researched before writing a tuition check.


This article was written by Emily Wilkins, a Washington, D.C.-based journlaist. 

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