The survey, released last week from San Francisco-based NerdWallet, an online price comparison website, uses data from U.S. News & World Report and recent surveys of college grads entering the workforce in 2010-12 to rank the top 25 "highest salary" schools in the U.S. Topping that list is Carnegie Mellon, where computer science grads earn an average starting salary of $84,400, followed by Stanford school of engineering grads who earn about $74,700. NYU nursing grads follow in third place with an average starting salary of $70,200. Ever hear of Harvey Mudd College? You should check it out if you're linking dollars to degrees; the Claremont Calif.-based private college (which usually attracts science, engineering and mathematics majors) ranked fourth in the NerdWallet rankings, at $69,100 for an average starting salary for its graduates. Rounding out the top 10:
- The University of Pennsylvania's school of engineering and applied science, at $66,500.
- Carnegie Mellon's College of Science, at $65,697.
- Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, at $65,673.
- University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, at $65,600
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at $65,300.
- Cornell University's College of Engineering, at $64,285.
The NerdWallet survey also suggests that high college tuition is a good investment, as long as students focus on the academic disciplines that actually pay out in great salaries.