Saint Mary's College of California is a private liberal arts school, tucked away in an affluent suburb east of San Francisco. It's got a small student body - 2,379 undergraduates - and graduated just 550 students in the spring of 2010.
Maybe you haven't heard of it. But this 130-year-old college is one of the best schools in the country for students that hope for financial success.
"My experiences as a St. Mary's College student and member of its Board of Regents provided me with the knowledge and many different perspectives to be even more successful in my career," said Shirley O. Griffin, executive vice president for Wells Fargo's Commercial Real Estate group in San Francisco. "The St. Mary's curriculum, professors, and staff are of the highest caliber, and my involvement with the college continues to be very rewarding."
In fact, St. Mary's does such a good job helping students thrive in their careers, the school ranks fifth on our list of colleges that will make you rich.
Behind the Numbers
Our list doesn't just rank the schools where graduates make the most money. Instead, we're interested in schools that raise their students above salary expectations. These are the colleges who can take a group of students that, statistically speaking, shouldn't go on to earn much, and help them beat the odds and make big bucks.
Rankings of colleges where alumni earn the most nearly always include elite universities, and members of the Ivy League. But students who attend these schools were accepted because they were very intelligent and hard-working, even in high school. They tend to come from well-educated families, and have already-established networks that help them succeed after graduation. It's no surprise when they go on to make lots of money - and it's not clear that their college did anything special to help them along the way.
Image: No. 1 Williams College
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