The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Highline ranks No. 25 on nationwide college list

Samuel Watson Staff Reporter Mar 11, 2021

A two-year degree from Highline will make you more money than you would get by studying someplace else. 

Highline was recently ranked No. 25 on a nationwide list of the best colleges for salary for an associate degree.

The list was compiled by GradReports, an online service that offers salary scores for thousands of schools across the country.

Another local school, Bellevue College, was ranked at No. 10 on the same list.

These salary scores are calculated by the site using a detailed and careful process, the GradReports website says.

“GradReports’ salary score is based on median alumni earnings in the year after graduating, using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard,” the website says. “The score compares the median alumni salary for a specific program at one school to the median alumni salary for the same program at other schools, allowing prospective students to see which schools offer top earnings for that program.”

After this, schools receive an overall salary score from the site, specific to each degree level they offer. 

“This overall score is based on how well the school performs across all the programs it offers, weighted by student enrollment in each program,” the website says.

Highline Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Emily Lardner said she is pleased with this score.

“I’m proud of the result,” she said. “The rankings look at earnings and debt for associate degrees, and it’s great to be in the top 25 colleges nationally.”

Dr. Paulette Lopez, who is the dean of workforce in Highline’s Professional-Technical Education department, said she is also happy with the result.

“Ranking 25th on the list of the best colleges by earnings in the nation is quite an honor,” Dr. Lopez said. “I feel extremely proud that we are providing quality programs that meet the needs of students and their families.” 

She said Highline must continue to prioritize and listen to its students if it hopes to continue its success.

“We will continue to put students first and provide them with opportunities to be successful in meeting both their educational and personal goals,” Dr. Lopez said. “It’s important for us to reflect on what we have to offer to our students and community as we can continue to improve every day. We are always open to hear from students so that we can provide them with the best experience as possible.”

Some Highline students were also impressed with their school’s score.

“That news makes me feel excited,” said Highline student Cassandra Hansen. “I think it’s great because I think South King County is a really diverse area, and I think it’s fantastic that our college ranked so high.” 

Another student agreed, saying they were pleasantly surprised to hear Highline was listed so high.

“To be honest, it doesn’t really make me feel a certain way other than feeling impressed they were ranked so high,” said Highline student Melissa Schacher.

She said she felt more hopeful for the future after hearing the news.

“Now knowing this I can feel confident that I got really good schooling and am leaving with a credible AA degree,” Schacher said.

Hansen agreed, saying the score made her feel “optimistic.”

You can view the full list here.