By Carter Coudriet for Forbes
Colleges and universities whose curricula emphasize STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—rank high on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Colleges. The No. 1 STEM school, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is No. 4 on our national list. MIT’s high ranking is driven by its grads’ career success. According to the federal government’s College Scorecard database, which tracks the earnings of federal student loan recipients, MIT grads earn a median salary of $94,200 ten years after starting school. MIT grads with zero to five years of experience earn $81,500, according to PayScale, a privately-owned website that tracks self-reported salary data.
But MIT is highly selective, accepting just 8% of those who apply. The good news: When we ranked the best 25 STEM schools on our 2018 Top Colleges list, we found six with acceptance rates greater than 50%: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, University of Portland, Clarkson University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Drexel University, and Missouri University of Science and Technology. Their grads’ average alumni earnings ten years after starting school is $68,000, more than $5,000 greater than the average for the overall top 100 schools on our national list.