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UC San Diego Among Top 10 Public Colleges Where Grads Make Six Figures

Campus nets No. 5 spot in rankings measuring career and economic success of its alumni

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Want to earn a six-figure salary after getting your bachelor’s degree from an affordable public college? A UC San Diego education can take you there.  An analysis of graduates’ compensation from Money.com data shows that UC San Diego is the fifth best college for students seeking a path from an affordable public college to a high-paying job. The personal finance news and advice website ranked the nation’s top public universities with alumni that earn an average of more than $100,000 within 15 years of graduation — without having to attend graduate school.

Using data from Payscale, Money.com found that the average mid-career salary for a UC San Diego graduate is $106,000 and the average early career salary is $53,700. In addition, a first-rate education at the campus remains accessible. The university serves a high number of low-income students––almost two-thirds of UC San Diego’s undergraduates receive financial aid and about 35 percent of its students are Pell grant recipients.

“UC San Diego offers a world-class education that is accessible and affordable, making our university an upward mobility machine with an economic impact that goes far beyond our region,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “With an educational mission that embraces courage and risk-taking, our university produces alumni who think outside the box to drive innovation that makes our world a better place.”

More than 650 companies have been launched by and/or utilize technology produced by UC San Diego faculty, staff and alumni, including many San Diego biotech and technology firms. 

UC San Diego has more than 170,000 alumni with nearly 50,000 living in San Diego County. Many are CEOs of their own businesses, which provide jobs and generate new products that drive economic development. UC San Diego alumni innovators make a difference in our region, they include J. Craig Venter, founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute and trailblazer in the field of genomics which can identify, treat and prevent illness; Christopher Yanov,  Reality Changers founder and president who raised over $1M in scholarship funds for inner-city youth;  Ashley Van Zeeland, co-founder and CEO at Cypher Genomics, who is conducting groundbreaking work in the genetics of autism; and many more. 

UC San Diego consistently performs well across a variety of national and international rankings. Whether measuring the university’s research and its influence, or the economic diversity of its students and graduation rates, the campus has earned a reputation for excellence across the board. Recent accolades include:

  • No. 1 public university in the nation, ranked by Washington Monthly based on social mobility, research and civic engagement.
  • 1st in the nation for women graduates in STEM. According to a study by BestColleges.com, UC San Diego’s proportion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) female graduates is three times the national average.
  • 2nd in the nation for high numbers of low-income students and graduation rate success by the Washington, D.C.-based Third Way.
  • 14th best university in the world by the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
  • 7th best public university in the world, according to Times Higher Education.
  • 29 of UC San Diego’s undergraduate and graduate programs and disciplines hold top ten rankings nationally and globally.

For more information on UC San Diego’s rankings, click here.


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