Cities That Offer The Best Payoff For A College Degree

May 19, 2016

What now? That is the main question every recent graduate asks themselves as they stare at a mountain of college debt.

SpareFoot has created a list to try and ease the oncoming panic attack, providing a list of 12 cities where recent graduatescan get the most out of their degrees. To compile the list, Sparefoot looked at the 25 and over populations of metro areas. Sparefoot examined the median earnings for everyone regardless of education, for people with at least some college or an associate’s degree, for people with a bachelor’s degree, and for people with a graduate or professional degree. The median income for everyone, regardless of education, was compared to the other three categories. A  premium for higher education was then determined.

McAllen, Texas came out on top as the city that provides the greatest bang for your educational buck. The median income for anyone over 25 in that city was $22,506. Those with some college or an associate’s degree had a median income of $26,159, those with a bachelor’s degree earned $45,180, and those with a graduate or professional degree earned $56,105. This gave the city a premium for higher education of 93.6 percent. Agriculture, international trade, retail, and tourism are the primary sectors of the city’s economy.

Bakersfield, Calif., took the second spot on the list with a premium for higher education of 88.1 percent and Fresno, Calif. was third with a premium of 75.7 percent. Los Angeles was the largest city in the top 10 coming in at number eight with a premium of 54.1 percent.

Most large cities ranked lower on the list as such as New York (39), Chicago (56), Denver (88), and Boston (99).

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