Welcome to Your Future Earnings, created by the University System of Georgia (USG) to help students and families make informed decisions about the value of college.
We understand there’s no bigger decision than what degree to choose, and making a good decision requires good data. So here you’ll find what USG graduates in specific academic fields who work full-time in Georgia – as well as anywhere in the nation – earn. You can also find how much in loans USG graduates borrow.
We have a few important caveats: While Your Future Earnings allows comparison across all USG colleges and universities, it’s important to recognize each USG institution is unique in its mission and can differ in important ways. This includes in admissions, cost and mix of academic programs – all things that affect the numbers you see. For those reasons, comparisons are most meaningful between institutions in the same academic sector or category: research universities; comprehensive universities; state universities; or state colleges. Comparisons across institutions are also most useful between the same degree level and major.
It is important to keep in mind that a graduate’s earnings and borrowing choices reflect many factors and are not just the result of attending a particular college or university or even selecting a particular major. For example, earnings can vary by the cost of living in a particular community or state. Urban areas are generally more expensive than rural. There are also non-wage amenities of a job that graduates may prioritize over earnings such as commute time, flexible work schedule, health and retirement benefits and risk of injury. Finally, broader considerations such as whether the economy is in a recession can impact earnings. Borrowing can depend on family income, receipt of scholarships and grants as well as tuition and fees at a chosen institution. It’s essential to have all the facts, so explore this site and generate customized reports based on your interests. We hope it gives you a better idea of how to start or continue your academic journey.
What is Your Future Earnings?
Your Future Earnings is a free, online data tool for current and future University System of Georgia (USG) students and their families. It shows what real graduates from every USG institution earn and borrow across different academic programs and majors. This information can help inform decisions about choosing academic programs and degrees.
How does it work?
Your Future Earnings shows what USG graduates earn one, five and 10 years after they graduate, based on institution and major. Employment through 2022 is included. You can view earnings for USG graduates working in Georgia or for USG graduates employed across the nation. You can view earnings by USG institution, by degree level (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) and by major (Civil Engineering, Elementary Education and Teaching, etc.). You can also compare earnings across multiple majors. Earnings are shown at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentiles.
Your Future Earnings also shows total borrowing amount and average monthly loan payment by USG institution, degree level and academic program.
Who is included in the data?
Individuals who were awarded any degree from a USG institution. Earnings data is limited to graduates who work full-time after graduation.
Who should use Your Future Earnings?
Whether you are starting college for the first time or a returning student, planning a transfer between institutions or considering graduate school, this tool helps you make the best decision by showing earnings and debt from real USG graduates. It’s also helpful for those who are currently enrolled and making decisions about which major to pursue.
Where can I access Your Future Earnings?
Anywhere you access the web, including from your smartphone!
Where does the data come from?
Georgia earnings data comes from GA·AWARDS (Georgia’s Academic and Workforce Analysis and Research Data System), the statewide longitudinal data system housed by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. GA·AWARDS is comprised of education and workforce data from a variety of state agencies, including data about degrees awarded as provided by USG. Workforce data is supplied by the Georgia Department of Labor and comes from unemployment insurance (UI) records.
National earnings data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. This data is also based on unemployment insurance records but includes other federal data that expand its coverage to employment across the country.
Loan debt data comes from the University System of Georgia Academic Data Collection.
What kind of earnings are reported?
Georgia and national earnings data reflect gross earnings, meaning it is what an individual earns before taxes, benefits, and other payroll deductions are withheld.
Who is included/excluded in the earnings data?
Data includes all USG graduates who are subsequently employed full-time one, five or 10 years out from graduation:
- Georgia earnings data is limited to those employed in UI-covered jobs in Georgia, which excludes graduates who are employed out-of-state, self-employed or employed by the federal government or military.
- National earnings data includes those employed in UI-covered jobs in any state, as well as many employed by the federal government. Notable exclusions are those who are self-employed, state and local elected officials, White House officials, members of Congress, members of the armed forces and U.S. Postal Service workers.
- To protect student privacy and increase generalizability, earnings are not shown for majors that have fewer than 10 graduates found working full-time, as described below.
- Full-time employment is determined as working at least three quarters of the calendar year and earning at least the federal minimum wage for full-time work ($15,080 annually). Graduates working fewer than three quarters or earning less than $15,080 in the calendar year are excluded.
- The calendar year for one year after graduation is recorded as the first full calendar year following the graduation term. Employment for five and 10 years follows the same logic.
- A graduate is shown in earnings data, even if subsequently re-enrolled in postsecondary education, so long as they meet the conditions of full-time employment.
How should earnings be interpreted over time?
For graduates between 2007 and 2021, Georgia earnings data is available from the point of graduation through 2022 and national earnings data is available from the point of graduation through 2020. Enough time needs to have elapsed to count earnings five or 10 years after graduation. For example, 10-year earnings are only available for graduates prior to 2012.
Individuals may move out of the labor force or out of state (applicable to Georgia earnings data) over time. As a result, when looking at the one, five or 10-year earnings for a particular institution or major, it is important to recognize that the population of full-time workers will differ at each point in time.
How are earnings calculated?
The earnings used in Your Future Earnings are calculated as follows:
- Earnings represent the sum of all wages earned in the calendar year for full-time workers.
- All wages have been converted to 2022 dollars using the national Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.
- For graduates earning multiple degrees:
- Georgia earnings data: Wages are associated with the highest degree earned. A student earning multiple degrees at the same level, like dual bachelor’s degrees, will have their wages associated with each degree’s academic program. Once a graduate earns a degree at a higher level, wages will be associated with the advanced degree and no longer the previously held degree.
- National earnings data: If a graduate earns degrees at more than one degree level, their earnings will be associated with all those degrees. For example, a bachelor’s degree recipient will not be removed from the bachelor’s degree level, even if they earn a master’s degree later.
Do the data reflect graduates’ earnings in their selected fields of study?
Not necessarily. There are no occupation-level classifications related to job titles or duties that would definitively determine whether a graduate’s specific job is in a field related to their degree or major.
What is the difference between the Georgia earnings data and the national earnings data?
Georgia earnings data comes from GA·AWARDS and is limited to full-time employment within the state. the national earnings data comes from the Census Bureau and includes full-time employment across the nation.
Georgia earnings data includes USG graduates from 2007-2021. The national earnings data includes USG graduates from 2001-2018.
Georgia earnings data only includes earnings for the highest degree awarded for individuals who earned multiple degrees. The national earnings data includes earnings for all degrees awarded to individuals.
Georgia earnings data shows more detailed information about majors by using a 6-digit CIP code. The national earnings data shows information about majors by using a 4-digit CIP code.
What kind of borrowing data is reported?
Data for all loans that are processed through an institution’s financial aid and bursar’s office are included. This can include federal, state, institutional and most external loans.
Who is included/excluded in the borrowing data?
Debt is calculated for associate and bachelor’s graduates who started their degree at the same institution from which they graduated; graduates who transferred to their institution are excluded from debt calculations to provide the most accurate depiction of debt accrued from the institution selected.
How is debt calculated?
The debt reported in Your Future Earnings is calculated as follows:
- Total debt at the time of graduation for bachelor’s and associate graduates.
- Debt is only calculated for graduates who earned their degree from the institution where they first enrolled.
- All debt has been converted to 2022 dollars using the national Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.
- When median debt is reported, it is only among graduates who had loans.
How is monthly debt payment calculated?
- A fixed interest rate of 6.8% is applied to the total loan amount.
- Monthly payment is based on a payment plan of 10 years (120 months).
Do the data reflect graduates’ debt in their selected fields of study?
Not necessarily. Graduates’ debt depends on cost of attendance (which varies more by institution than academic program), family income and receipt of scholarships and grants.
Do the data reflect the majors currently offered by a college or university?
No. Over time, the mix of academic programs a university or college offers can change. This means you may see earnings and borrowing data for a degree that is no longer offered. You should consult with the institution to confirm whether a major is currently offered.
How are majors defined?
Majors are defined by the National Center for Education Statistics Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), although specific program names may differ slightly by institution. More detailed majors are provided for the Earnings After Graduation, Compare Between Majors and Compare Between Schools pages, while broader major categories are provided on the Range of Earnings by Academic Area, Loan Debt at Graduation and Compare Earnings and Loan Payments pages. When viewing the national data, more detailed majors are provided for bachelor’s degrees and broader major categories are provided for other award levels.
How are consolidated institutions reported?
Data for institutions that experienced consolidation is retroactively consolidated in years prior to the merger.
When will this website be updated?
Data will be updated each time there is a new full calendar year of earnings data available in GA·AWARDS.
Loan Debt at Graduation
View the distribution of debt at graduation at USG colleges and universities for selected degree level and academic area.