The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan have publicly released data on student earnings through agreements with the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS). IRIS partners with the U.S. Census Bureau to link data from participating universities to the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) dataset to produce detailed earnings information on alumni.

Release of the data, which show 75th percentile, median, and 25th percentile income levels one, five and 10 years after graduation, is an important step not only for prospective students and their families, but for researchers seeking to learn more about the value of a university education, said Jason Owen-Smith, IRIS executive director and a professor of sociology at U-M.

“The promise of this platform is that it allows us to better understand, explain and hopefully improve the value of the educational work universities do for students and for society,” he said. “More remains to be done, but the results will benefit IRIS member institutions, students, their families, employers, and the nation.”

See the University of Michigan press release at and the University of Wisconsin press release at for more information.

Under a pilot project agreement with the Census Bureau, IRIS obtains, prepares and transfers data from member universities to the Census Bureau to enable linkage to LEHD data. For more information on IRIS, email or visit