If you're looking for more than a worldly education, a sense of history, and a decent grasp on literature, then you're in the right place when it comes to colleges.

Yes, Southern California offers you higher education that pays. Eventually. The latest “Payscale College Salary Report,” based on what kind of paycheck you can expect, is out, and the L.A. area does quite well:

Little old liberal arts college Harvey Mudd in Claremont tops the list. Payscale says you can expect an average starting salary of $73,300 and a midcareer salary of $143,000.

Caltech comes in third place: $68,400 to start, $124,000 midcareer.

UC San Diego makes the top 50 at number 49: $49,300 to start, $101,000 midcareer.

See also: USC, UCLA Tied in Academic Ranking.

If you want to leave SoCal for school you'd be wise to chose the U.S. Naval Academy at Anapolis (number two), New Jersey's Stevens Institute of Technology (tied for third), Wellesley, Massachusetts' Babson College (number five) or, of couse, Princeton University (number six), which recently topped U.S. News & World Report's annual best-colleges list.

See the whole Payscale list here.

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