Where does the data come from?

  • NerdWallet collected and synthesized "Senior Surveys" and "Post Graduation Reports," e.g., questionnaires typically administered by a college's career services to students upon graduation (or one year after). Such reports provide varying levels of detail of what undergraduate students do after graduation.
  • Data for the classes of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (when available) are presented.

Which schools are included?

  • Schools included were those that had information available to the public online or upon request, and generally comprised of Private Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Public Universities.
  • Median response rate of 68% across 100+ schools and 290+ programs.

How is this tool different from other resources out there?

  • Unprecedented level of detail and focus on post-graduation outcomes: NerdWallet provides a measure of post-graduation success with a school-by-school comparison of graduates' industries, employment, salaries, and graduate school studies. NerdWallet encourages students and parents to plan for life after college, rather than viewing college as an end in itself. By focusing on specific outcomes like employment prospects and graduate school studies, students can make more informed decisions about schools and majors.
  • Larger sample size of actual students: NerdWallet's sample size is over 400,000 students across 100+ institutions. Other resources are typically small-scale/niche and rely on smaller samples sizes (for example, a recent study was conducted by administering a survey to 571 US Residents and drawing broad conclusions from such).

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