With the expense of college no small matter, choosing the rightschool can make all the difference in paying off thoseoften-crippling student loans.

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PayScale has ranked hundreds of universities and otherinstitutions of higher learning by the median pay its graduatesearn at the midpoint of their careers. Of course, high pay doesn'talways equate with job satisfaction. That's reflected in the factthat one of highest ranked the colleges in terms of earnings hasonly about one-third of its graduates finding a high level ofmeaning in their jobs.

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Related: Ranked! The top schools for undergraduate riskmanagement and insurance degrees

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That job meaning quotient is a measure of how many respondentssaid their occupations make the world a better place. PayScalelooked at institutions that offer two-year, four-year and graduatedegrees. We looked at the highest ranked four-year collegesoffering bachelor's degrees among the more than 1,000 colleges anduniversities studied in the PayScale report and ranked them bymid-career pay. Data was collected from employees who completedPayScale's survey.

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For those looking for bargains, it's worth noting that five ofthe colleges on this list are public institutions.

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Check out the top 13 colleges whose grads earn themost:

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Washington and Lee University (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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13. (tie) Washington and Lee University

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Early Career Median Pay: $54,700

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $120,000

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% High Job Meaning: 58%

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 U.S. Military Academy Graduates (Photo: AP)

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13. (tie) U.S. Military Academy (WestPoint)

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Early Career Median Pay: $78,500

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $120,000

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% High Job Meaning: 61%

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Edwin A. Stevens Building on the Campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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13. (tie) Stevens Institute of Technology

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Early Career Median Pay: $66,800

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $120,000

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% High Job Meaning: 47%

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Students parade through the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. (Photos: AP)

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13. (tie) University of Pennsylvania

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Early Career Median Pay: $60,300

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $120,000

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% High Job Meaning: 55%

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University of Pennsylvania grads are high earners and the schoolis also home to the top-rated undergraduate Insurance & RiskManagement program.

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Babson college. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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9. Babson College

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Early Career Median Pay: $60,700

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $121,000

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% High Job Meaning: 30%

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Princeton University Campus (Photo: AP)

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8. Princeton University

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Early Career Median Pay: $61,300

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $122,000

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% High Job Meaning: 58%

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Stanford Chapel on the Stanford University campus. (Photo: AP)

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7. Stanford University

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Early Career Median Pay: $65,900

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $123,000

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% High Job Meaning: 62%

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Early Career Median Pay: $74,900

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $124,000

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% High Job Meaning: 55%

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The Millikan Library on the campus of Caltech. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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5. California Institute of Technology

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Early Career Median Pay: $72,600

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $125,000

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% High Job Meaning: 66%

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U.S. Naval Academy cadets take the oath of office during the commissioning ceremony. (Photo: AP)

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4. (tie) U.S. Naval Academy

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Early Career Median Pay: $78,200

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $126,000

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% High Job Meaning: 55%

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Harvard Law School graduates. (Photo: AP)

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4. (tie) Harvard University

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Early Career Median Pay: $61,400

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $126,000

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% High Job Meaning: 65%

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Harvey Mudd College. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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2. Harvey Mudd College

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Early Career Median Pay: $78,200

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $133,000

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% High Job Meaning: 63%

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Maritime College

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1. State University of New York – MaritimeCollege

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Early Career Median Pay: $65,200

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Mid-Career Median Pay: $134,000

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% High Job Meaning: 65%

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