College grads expect to earn $60,000 in their first job—here's how much they actually make

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Each year, enthusiastic university commencement speakers tell students that the hard work they did in college will pay off if they simply continue to persevere.

But a recent survey from LendEdu highlights how some of graduates’ expectations are not being met.

LendEdu analyzed a College Pulse survey of 7,000 college students from nearly 1,000 colleges and universities and found that students, on average, expect to earn $60,000 in their first job out of college.

Most will earn closer to $50,000.

PayScale estimates the typical graduate with zero to five years experience makes $48,400. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) calculates that the preliminary average starting salary for graduates from the class of 2018 is about $50,004.

NACE data also indicates that college graduate starting salaries have recently seen a subtle dip. The organization estimates that the starting salaries of the class of 2018 were actually


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