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Which state university grads earn the most?

(MoneyWatch) Which of the nation's top state universities produce graduates who go on to make the biggest bucks?

Among all 50 state "flagship" schools, recent graduates of the University of California-Berkeley earn the highest median starting salary, at $53,100, according to In comparison, new graduates at the University of South Dakota in the small town of Vermillion earn the least, at $35,900.

State flagship universities are typically the most prestigious public university in each of the 50 states. Such school typically attract higher performing students, receive greater financial support from their respective state governments and enjoy the best graduation rates among public institutions in their states. 

State flagships whose grads earn the highest starting salaries

1. University of California-Berkeley: $53,100
2. University of Maryland: $50,600
3. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: $50,600
4. University of Virginia: $50,500
5. University of Connecticut: $49,500
6. University of Texas: $49,100
7. Penn State University: $48,600
8. University of Wisconsin: $47,900
9. University of Delaware: $47,300
University of Washington: $47,100

State flagships whose grads earn the lowest starting salaries

1. University of South Dakota: $35,900
2. University of Montana: $37,400
3. University of South Carolina: $39,400
4. University of Hawaii: $40,300
5. University of Oregon: $40,600
6. University of Kentucky: $40,600
7. University of Missouri: $40,900
8. University of Nebraska: $40,900
9. University of New Mexico: $41,100
10. University of Mississippi: $41,200

The salary figures were generated by research firm and made available through CollegeMeasures, which among other things lets people compare how private and state schools compare in terms of salaries, grad rates, freshman retention rates and more.

For those dreaming of attending UC Berkeley, meanwhile, the cost may be prohibitive if you aren't a Californian. The price tag for non-residents is nearly $56,000 a year.

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