Where do the salary after attending numbers come from if the school isn't reporting them? Who is surveying graduates 10 years out?

  • Could you provide more details here? I think some schools do report them (because they keep w/ graduates, partly in the hope of receiving donations). However, even regular polling companies do "salary surveys" where they ask people how much they make, where and when they went to college, etc.
    – user3856
    Jul 28, 2018 at 18:01
  • I'm not sure the data for "salary after attending" comes from the schools directly. I am wondering if someone from the Dept of Ed knows where this data comes from? Did they conduct a survey?
    – mka
    Jul 30, 2018 at 2:06
  • What source are you looking at to see these numbers yourself? That source might have an explanation of how they got the data.
    – user3856
    Jul 30, 2018 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


It is not a survey; it is from SSN-linked tax records for students who received federal aid. According to the College Scorecard documentation (scroll down and expand "Earnings"):

To measure the labor market outcomes of individuals attending institutions of higher education, data on cohorts of federally aided students were linked with earnings data from de-identified tax records and reported back at the aggregate, institutional level.

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