Central College News

Central degree among top in region in boosting graduates’ salaries

May 18, 2015

Central College graduates have the highest mid-career median salary of any liberal arts college in Iowa, according to data from a new report. The data indicate Central graduates experience a high value-added to their salaries.

The study from the Brookings Institution placed Central in the 88th percentile nationally for graduates’ mid-career earnings. Brookings showed that Central provides the highest value-added to salary among liberal arts college in Iowa — a degree from Central provided a 22.5 percent boost to alumni’s earnings. Of all colleges and universities in Iowa, only Drake University had a higher value-added. When looking at liberal arts colleges in Iowa and its neighboring states, Central had the third-highest value-added, behind only Carleton College (Minn.) and Lake Forest College (Ill.).

The study’s authors said the goal of the value-added analysis was to capture “how well colleges contribute to student economic success, rather than simply their ability to attract top students.” Thus, the research took the economic outcomes for graduates and adjusted them for the characteristics of students at the time they were admitted. Brookings said the resulting rankings reflect the contributions colleges make to graduates’ economic success.

In addition to lifting salaries, Central makes it a priority for students to graduate in four years, saving time and money. Students overwhelmingly graduate from Central on time, with 92 percent of graduates taking four years or less to earn their degrees.

View the full Brookings Institution report here.