UW-Eau Claire recognized nationally

A new ranking system has ranked UWEC as one of the best colleges in Wisconsin for post-graduation income

More stories from Amira Lunderville



UW-Eau Claire ranks eighth in Wisconsin for best bachelor’s degrees, sixteenth nationally for best music degrees and fourth nationally for best health care administration degrees.

UW-Eau Claire has been nationally ranked once again by a new company called GradReports, which ranks schools based on salaries alums have post-graduation.

Sarah Glass, communications and outreach liaison for the company, said GradReports was created as a tool to help students choose a college that can best serve their academic and financial futures.

“We believe students deserve current and accurate data to make informed decisions, which is why we provide our Salary Scores, data-driven rankings and alumni reviews,” Glass said.

Prior to releasing Best Colleges by Salary Score, GradReports focused on providing alumni reviews, Glass said. GradReports released its first rankings in 2020, and it was updated on March 1, 2021.

According to their website, a Salary Score is a “ranking system that allows students to quickly and easily compare college’s alumni salaries by program.”

Based on this year’s rankings, UW-Eau Claire ranks as eighth for best bachelor’s degrees in Wisconsin, fourth for best health care administration bachelor’s degrees and sixteenth for best music bachelor’s degrees.

A full list of Wisconsin rankings can be found here.

The ranking score is calculated by how close the average graduate salary is compared to other programs across the country, Glass said.

“Because some majors tend to earn more than others, the reporting system only compares alumni earnings from the same field of study to help students find schools who produce highly paid alumni no matter what they major in,” Glass said.

The system was created because GradReports believes students need to know what they can expect to earn after graduation to make an informed decision about their education, Glass said. Students can maximize their earning potential while still pursuing their interests.

Optimal is the parent company of GradReports, Glass said. Optimal’s goal is to help prospective students make informed, data-driven decisions to improve their collegiate experience and post-college careers.

“While many other education researchers obscure data and promote exclusively elite colleges, we understand that transparency, accessibility and impact are crucial,” Glass said. “We will always be transparent about what data we are using and where it is coming from.”

According to the website, the data is collected from College Scorecard, a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Education

Paula Gilbeck, interim director of University Relations, said it’s rewarding to see high rankings for UW-Eau Claire.

“This recording group is new to us, but we’re happy to see we’ve made it in their top ten in Wisconsin,” Gilbeck said. “It’s a reflection of our excellent students and faculty.”

Kiki Beschorner, coordinator of the center for health administration and aging services excellence at UW-Eau Claire, said it adds more attraction to the degree if the salary is being identified, but any recognition helps.

“Any recognition of our program based on the wide variety of ranking approaches is valuable, Beschorner said. “It shows we are one of the top health care administration programs in the nation and that we offer a top-notch education for the field.”  

The ranking also reflects well on the music department, Gilbeck said. Because in-person performances have been put on hold, it’s hard to get reactions from crowds during performances.

“To know you’re being recognized and not just playing to nobody, but to a national audience that sees the quality of the university and the performances, we can only imagine how excited the music department is to see this,” Gilbeck said.

This data does not just reflect on the specific departments highlighted, but the university as a whole, Gilbeck said. It touches every part of the university from food and athletics to teaching and learning.

“Every single aspect rises with this wonderful news because it’s not just this one ranking, it’s been ranking after ranking throughout all these years and it shows how great UW-Eau Claire is,” Gilbeck said.

To keep up with GradReports, check out their Facebook and Optimal’s Facebook.  

Lunderville can be reached at [email protected]