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About the SCHEV Wage Outcomes Report

This year, Virginia passed a law requiring the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to publish annually on its website data regarding the employment outcomes of graduates from Virginia public and private, non-profit colleges and universities.

While the report provides basic facts about the immediate post-graduation experiences of alumni who remain in the Commonwealth and enter the workforce, and/or enroll in further educational pursuits here, SCHEV strongly cautions reviewers not to use the short-term wage outcomes of recent graduates to measure the quality or long-term effectiveness of any of Virginia's individual institutions.

The report possesses a number of limitations:

  • The data reflect only post-graduation experiences of alumni who take positions subject to protection by Virginia's unemployment insurance. Therefore, the reported wage data covers only 48% of recent graduates of Virginia's public and non-profit colleges and universities with four-year bachelor degrees, of which approximately one-fourth are excluded as having part-time wages. This means that only 36% of four-year public and independent graduates are in the data.
  • The data exclude federal workers (including the military), contractors, the self-employed, and others not covered by Virginia's unemployment insurance.
  • The data exclude alumni employed outside of Virginia, or alumni currently enrolled in graduate or professional schools in institutions outside of Virginia. (It is important to note that between 2002 and 2011, 53% of Hollins graduates left the Commonwealth to pursue employment or graduate school.)
  • The data exclude graduates of for-profit colleges and universities.

Many factors can influence how much an individual graduate earns that go beyond the institution or academic program. These include the mission and nature of the employing organization, local economies, cost of living differences between communities, and goals of the student. In addition, students tend to make highly individual and varied decisions and follow paths that best fit their personal situation at a given time — choices that might not always result in the highest salary. Proximity to family or other obligations can also play a role in the career decisions students make.

For 170 years, Hollins has prided itself on delivering an educational experience that prepares students for active learning, fulfilling work, personal growth, achievement, and service to society throughout their lives. More than ever, Hollins remains committed to the core tenets of an outstanding liberal arts education, one that readies graduates for success in life by:

  • Providing students with the skills and knowledge to help them be successfull in a variety of careers.
  • Empowering them to assume positions of leadership and be flexible in the marketplace.
  • Not solely focusing on generating the highest short-term salary.

Some of Hollins' most accomplished and prominent alumnae first went on to graduate school or served in entry-level jobs for several years before finding the opportunity that launched them to new levels of success and compensation.

Hollins encourages those reviewing the SCHEV Wage Outcomes Report to use great care in recognizing what it represents — and what it does not represent. It is inappropriate to make comparisons among colleges based on incomes earned in the early stages of a career and based on salary data that reflects or includes only 36% of graduates.