Which Oregon college graduates make the most money?

An analysis of 21 Oregon four-year colleges and universities, as well as a handful of community colleges, suggests that students attending those institutions earn between $32,300 and $76,600.

Of course, those figures include matriculators who earn two-year degrees from such spots as Portland Community College and newly minted health care professionals who earned their stripes at Oregon Health & Science University.

SEE SLIDESHOW: Which Oregon college graduates make the most?

The Portland Business Journal analyzed how much graduates of those 21 schools earn upon earning their degrees. The data comes from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, which crunched the numbers from 56 Oregon post-high school institutions.

The department issued the report to spotlight ways that college graduates can boost their earnings. All told, college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates.

Among the 21 Oregon colleges analyzed by the Portland Business Journal:

  • Portland Community College ranked best in terms of graduates' salaries given the average cost per year. PCC students pay about $8,500 annually for a full load of classes. In all, 54 percent of PCC students who even simply attend the school earn more than high school graduates who don't.
  • PCC was the only Oregon institution to make an "honor roll-like list" for its high graduate salaries. No Oregon schools made any of the the Education Department's three other such lists, which called out "affordable four-year schools with good outcomes," "25 community colleges that advance opportunities for low-income students," and "26 four-year public and private colleges with low costs and high salaries."
  • Each of the 21 schools in the Oregon analysis earn roughly the same or more than the $34,400 average earned by graduates of all students in the Education Department study.
  • Among schools for which data was available, Lewis & Clark charged the highest tuition, at $33,595 annually. The Education Department did not have annual cost statistics for OHSU.
  • The annual cost for all schools in the national study was $16,200.
  • Reed College sported the highest graduation rate among the four-year Oregon colleges the PBJ analyzed, at 81 percent. Marylhurst, at 26 percent, was the lowest.
  • The full data set — it's sortable by state and other factors — looks to also provide data on loan repayment figures and retention rates, among other figures. The numbers can be further broken down by demographics such as race and socioeconomic background.

Andy is the Portland Business Journal’s digital managing editor, overseeing the daily digital news operation. Sign up here to receive the free news-packed emails he curates every day.


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