Networking can be difficult and time-consuming, especially early in your career. But graduating from a school with a solid alumni base means diving straight into a built-in network of professionals.
The Princeton Review compiled a list of the 25 colleges with the best alumni networks in the country, featured in the book “Colleges That Pay You Back: 2016 Edition,” published in February, based on students’ ratings of how visible and active alumni are on their campuses.
We’ve also gathered salary data from PayScale to show how much new graduates from these schools can expect to make. Read on to see schools with active alumni who help students get ahead.
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25. Colgate University
Location: Hamilton, New York
Median starting salary: $54,000
Colgate graduates find themselves among good company: The school counts NBCUniversal CEO and President Stephen Burke and Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen among its notable alumni. Many are willing to lend a hand to undergraduates as well — students reported to The Princeton Review that “alumni would jump over any hurdle for you.”
24. Stanford University
Location: Stanford, California
Median starting salary: $62,900
Stanford alumni — a network more than 217,00o deep — provide extensive help to their alma mater through CareerConnect, a job board that exclusively lists job openings from Stanford grads. Alums also volunteer with “career communities” of undergraduates in a specific field who aim to stay on the best path toward finding a job.
The school boasts no shortage of big names among its graduates, including Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, author John Steinbeck, and former US President Herbert Hoover.
23. New College of Florida
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Median starting salary: $39,800
Graduates of the New College of Florida stay involved with their alma mater long after graduation by mentoring current students, hosting alumni events, and working with students on independent study projects. The school’s Alumnae/i Fellows Program pairs current students with New College graduates who coach them through a semester-long course or workshop in a specific field.