Special Education

2021 Highest Paid Special Education Graduates in the Great Lakes Region

2,104 Bachelor's Degrees
$36,354 Avg Salary
$26,283 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Special Education School for You

Highest Paid Special Education Graduates in the Great Lakes RegionSpecial Education is the #55 most popular major in the country with 8,866 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019. Of those degrees, 2,104 went to students in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The special ed school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Highest Paid Special Ed Graduates.

This year's Highest Paid Special Education Graduates in the Great Lakes Region ranking looked at 41 colleges that offer a bachelor's in special ed.

In this ranking, we use early career salaries - salaries 10 years from when a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.

How Much Do Special Education Majors Make After Graduation?

The average special education major who graduates from a school in the Great Lakes Region earns about $36,354 per year during the early years of their career. That's not so great, since it is 9% less than the national average salary of a typical bachelor's degree holder. However, graduates from the schools in this list may make more.

The national average salary for special ed bachelor's degree holders is $36,194. That's pretty close to the average for students who get their degree from a school in the Great Lakes Region .

Average Salary for Special Ed Graduates from Schools in the Great Lakes Region  36,354
0K
72,800
Average Salary for Special Ed Graduates from Schools Nationwide  36,194
0K
72,800
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major)  39,802
0K
72,800

College Combat

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Highest Paid Special Education Grads in the Great Lakes Region

Below you'll see a list of the colleges and universities that produce the highest paid special education majors.

Top 10 Best Schools for Highly Paid Special Ed Graduates in the Great Lakes Region

Illinois State University comes in at #1 in this year's ranking. Located in the midsize suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public school with a very large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, special ed majors make an average salary of $42,600.

On average, special ed graduates from Illinois State take out $20,930 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $223, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. UIUC is a very large public school located in the city of Champaign. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in special ed from the school is $42,100.

After completing their bachelor's degree, special ed graduates from UIUC carry an average student debtload of $19,579. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $223, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize Northern Illinois University as the #3 school in this year's rankings. Located in the small suburb of Dekalb, NIU is a public college with a fairly large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, special ed majors make an average salary of $41,700.

After completing their bachelor's degree, special ed graduates from NIU carry an average student debtload of $24,001. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

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#4

Cedarville University

Cedarville, OH

Cedarville University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Cedarville is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Cedarville.

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The #4 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Indiana University - Bloomington. Located in the small city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public school with a fairly large student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in special ed from the school is $41,400.

While working on their bachelor's, special ed majors at IU Bloomington accumulate an average of around $19,772 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $245.

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Our rankings recognize University of St Francis as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the suburb of Joliet, University of Saint Francis is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Special Ed majors at University of Saint Francis take out an average of $25,399 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. UW - Madison is a very large public school located in the city of Madison. Students who receive their bachelor's in special ed from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $40,900.

After completing their bachelor's degree, special ed graduates from UW - Madison carry an average student debtload of $20,115. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $253.

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University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh earned the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Oshkosh, UW Oshkosh is a public school with a large student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in special ed from the school is $40,100.

After completing their bachelor's degree, special ed graduates from UW Oshkosh carry an average student debtload of $25,039. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $260.

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The #7 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Loyola University Chicago. Loyola Chicago is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

On average, special ed graduates from Loyola Chicago take out $23,503 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree.

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#7

Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Bradley University comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. Bradley is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Peoria. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in special ed from the school is $40,000.

Special Ed majors at Bradley take out an average of $25,872 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Highest Paid Special Education Graduates in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
8 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
9 Ball State University Muncie, IN
10 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
12 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
13 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
15 Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, IL
16 Elmhurst University Elmhurst, IL

Best Special Education Colleges by State

Explore the best special education schools for a specific state in the Great Lakes region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Michigan 255 274
Ohio 246 843
Illinois 231 452
Indiana 227 261
Wisconsin 209 271

One of 14 majors within the Education area of study, Special Education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 7,910
Teacher Education Subject Specific 4,120
General Education 1,047
Educational Administration 339
Other Education 182

View All Special Ed Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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