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Cornell University

Cornell University

Average SAT score: 2130 Median starting salary: $58,200 The Ithaca, New York-based school offers 80 fields of study and an active career-services office, which connects students with alumni for mentoring, networking, jobs, and internships. The Ivy ranked at No. 11 on our main list.

University of California at Berkeley

University of California at Berkeley

Average SAT score: 2035 Median starting salary: $59,500 Students can choose between 170 departments and programs across 12 colleges, and even at a big school 73% of undergraduate classes seat 30 students or fewer.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Average SAT score: 2065 Median starting salary: $56,800 Michigan students received more Fulbright grants than anywhere else in the country but Harvard last year.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Average SAT score: 2080 Median starting salary: $61,700 Considered the smartest public college in America, Georgia Tech is known for its top-rated engineering, industrial design, and architecture programs.

United States Naval Academy

United States Naval Academy

Average SAT score: 1913 Median starting salary: $80,700 As a military school, the Annapolis, Maryland-based Naval Academy rigorously prepares students for a career in the Navy, with a focus on military education, professional training, character development, and physical fitness.

University of Virginia

University of Virginia

Average SAT score: 2025 Median starting salary: $54,100 US News named UVA — which is located in Charlottesville — the No. 2 public school and the No. 6 undergraduate business program in the country.

Military Academy at West Point

Average SAT score: 1880 Median starting salary: $75,100 Getting into the Military Academy at West Point, located in the eponymous New York town, is no small feat: The Academy accepts only about 9% of applicants. Photo Credit: Eddie Mandhry

UT Austin

UT Austin

Average SAT score: 1900 Median starting salary: $52,200 Ranked No. 17 for top public universities in the country by US News and Money magazine, UT has nearly half a billion alumni all toting Longhorn pride, including award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Average SAT score: 2030 Median starting salary: $55,000 Located about 140 miles south of Chicago, the University of Illinois is home to one of the largest public-university library collections in the world

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