A student's dilemma: is there a trade-off between a higher salary or higher GPA

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In this paper, we explore whether there is a relationship between average grades earned in a course and the national average salaries of graduates of the major associated with the course. Using student-level data from a selective private liberal arts college, we find an inverse relationship. The result suggests that students face a trade-off between grades earned in college versus higher expected earnings in the future. This relationship is stronger for students with lower math SAT scores but not for those with lower verbal SAT scores. Finally, the female advantage in course grades diminishes significantly in majors with higher salaries.