Earnings Gap

A recent study by a prestigious university shows that new Southwestern College graduates earned $6,000 more than they were projected to earn, the top projected earnings gap of any university in the state.

The Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW) mined statistics from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard to compile the earnings report for more than 1,400 four-year colleges and Universities.  The report takes into account the majors offered by the college (science and engineering fields tend to earn higher salaries, for example) then projects what graduates of that college could be expected to make. A survey of former students 10 years after they began their studies then compared what they actually earn to this base projection.

Of the 22 colleges and universities in the state, Southwestern College had the highest positive gap between what its graduates were projected to make and what they actually were earning. The projected earnings were $38,200 and actual earnings were $44,200, the highest positive gap in Kansas.

Speaking in a Topeka Capital Journal article, a senior research analyst at CEW explained that the purpose of this study was to see if colleges are adding value to students’ earnings.

“It’s supposed to be a measure of the college’s value,” said analyst Andrew Hanson. “In the end we’re trying to get one measure of the college’s ability to prepare students for the labor market.”

The next closest positive earning gap was at Ottawa University, and was $1,000 behind Southwestern’s number.

To see the full Georgetown University report, see



A positive gap means former students earned more than projected, and a negative gap means they earned less.


University/Projected Earnings/Gap from Expected Earnings (+ or -)

Southwestern College: $44,200, +$6,000

Ottawa University:  $40,700, +5,000

Bethany College: $38,500, +$4,200

Newman University: $41,900. +$2,700

Kansas Wesleyan University: $36,600, +$2,100

Pittsburg State University: $38,200, +$1,500

Friends University: $41,800, +$1,300

Bethel College: $37,400, +$500

Central Christian College of Kansas: $31,100, -$900

University of Saint Mary: $39,900, -$1,200

Sterling College: $32,100, -$1,200

Emporia State University: $35,900, -$1,700

Baker University: $48,900, -$1,900

Fort Hays State University: $37,400, -$1,900

Washburn University: $37,900, -$2,200

Kansas State University: $43,300, -$2,400

Tabor College: $34,400, -$2,800

Wichita State University: $39,300, -$3,400

McPherson College: $35,500, -$3,700

MidAmerica Nazarene University: $39,100, -$4,200

University of Kansas: $44,600, -$5,100

Benedictine College: $37,800, -$6,200