Is Your College Underrated?

Is Your College Underrated?

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Among the larger colleges and universities, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Texas enjoy special consideration. The same can be said for certain small schools, including Swarthmore, The Citadel, and Pomona College. Yet, there are a number of schools large and small that may seem overlooked by experts whenever they publish their “best colleges” and similar ratings lists.

Recently, Business Insider decided to delve a bit deeper into surveys conducted by US News and Payscale to find schools that have fairly low rankings on the US News list, but had graduates with high mid-career salaries. Business Insider identified 50 of the most underrated colleges in America and found that the New Jersey Institute of Technology topped the list. Indeed, NJIT grads earned an average annual salary of $98,000 after only 10 years of employment.

Certainly, the methodology used by Business Insider is open to criticism. After all, a significant cohort have found that the rankings offered by US News & World Report are too subjective. Moreover, the salary information from PayScale is open to dispute. Nevertheless, both sources are popular mediums for conveying information that is widely used in their respective fields.

Let’s review five such schools that made the list and what may be so special about each one.

NJIT — If there is a Rodney Dangerfield of universities, then NJIT is it. Founded as the Newark Technical School in 1881, NJIT is dwarfed by MIT and CalTech in prominence. Located just 20 minutes from Manhattan in New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, NJIT offers 128 degree programs and is a leader in several fields including, nanotechnology, solar physics, and polymer science. Consequently, students enjoy a bright future.

University of Tulsa — This Oklahoma university is not as well known as the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, but the Presbyterian-affiliated school is well respected for its undergraduate business school and its high number of National Merit Scholarship winners. Among its to programs are: petroleum engineering, English, computer science, and natural sciences. Business Insider divulges that Tulsa grads earn an average of $91,000 per year after 10 years.

Westmont College — Say, you never heard of Westmont College? Indeed, you are not alone. This Santa Barbara, California-based school was established in 1937 as the Bible Missionary Institute. In 1940 it assumed its present name, but it still upholds its Christian foundation. Notably, Westmont is prized for its low student-faculty ratio, high four-year graduation rate and for character development. Grads can expect to procure a mid-career salary of $89,100 per year.

University of St. Thomas — No, this school is not domiciled in the balmy tropics, but it is established in chilly Minnesota. This Roman Catholic-backed educational institution was endowed in 1885 as a Catholic seminary before transitioning to a liberal arts college nine years later. The school offers 88 undergraduate areas of study and encourages its students to study abroad. As a result, Thomas graduates enjoy a mid-career salary average of $86,100.

Hampden-Sydney College — There are a sprinkling of gender-exclusive institutions of higher learning remaining in America. Hampden-Sydney College, endowed in 1775, is one such school and is for men only. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, only 1,100 students attend this college situated in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Known for its strong liberal arts education, Hampden-Sydney grads should earn $89,400 per annum after 10 years of employment.

Underrated or Not?

Whether your school is underrated or not, the opportunity for you to learn and grow is always at hand. College ratings are often subjective, therefore it is incumbent upon college-bound students to parse through data, undertake campus visits and speak with alumnus regarding their own experiences while tenured there.

See AlsoCollege Rating System by the Numbers

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