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Report: UNF college grads earn salaries below average in state

Median salary of University of North Florida graduate is $43,200

Student Union (Photo courtesy: University of North Florida)
Student Union (Photo courtesy: University of North Florida)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Where you go to college can dictate not just where you land a job but also how much money you make.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, median earnings a decade after graduating from the University of North Florida are $43,200. Students currently attending UNF were shocked to learn that statistic.

"That really surprises me, because I know UNF is a great school," student Allie Henderson said. "I came here because of the nursing program here, so it really shocks me that it's only $43,000. I know that with my major, my goal is to make double that, so I hope that I get there."

UNF student Michael Johnson hopes to make more than the median.

"That's the goal. That's why I came to college, majoring in engineering, so hopefully, I can do better than that," Johnson said.

Nationally, the average college grad makes about $50,000 annually.

Florida school's median salary 10 years into career

University of North Florida in Jacksonville $43,200
Florida State University in Tallahassee $46,400
Jacksonville University in Jacksonville $50,500
University of Florida in Gainesville $56,000
Chamberlin University in Jacksonville $58,400
Embry Riddle in Daytona - highest in state $66,200

Johnson said he thinks college graduates should be making more than that.

"Especially because college is very expensive, and it takes a while to pay that. A lot of people have to do loans, and it takes years and years to pay back," Johnson said.

UNF student Millicent Abbey said a career with her degree won't pay a lot, and she's OK with that.

"(I'm) more excited to work with kids than I am about the paycheck that I'm going to get out of it," Abbey said.

The annual starting salary for a teacher in Duval County is $39,000.

About the Authors:

Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.