College Earns You More than a Degree

College-earns-more-than-a-degreePeople with a college degree tend to have a better quality of life.  Research conducted by the College Board, “Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” examines the broader payoffs of education.

Having a job and earning a higher wage is valuable.  But there’s value in a college degree that extends far beyond unemployment and earnings potential.

But did you know that college graduates are also more likely to volunteer?  Or that they’re more likely to vote?  Would you believe they’re likely to be healthier?


Healthier Habits

The College Board study found that there is a relationship between educational attainment and better health at every age and income level.

More than two-thirds of college graduates ages 25-34 exercised moderately at least once each week compared to 49% of high school graduates. Although this age group showed the most dramatic difference, the College Board study data indicated that college graduates at all levels are more likely to exercise. The benefits from regular exercise are well documented.

For example, of the 20% of adults who smoke, 9% are college graduates. 69%of those who hold at least a bachelor’s degree have never smoked.


Taxes, Voting and Volunteering Increases

One measure of a higher quality of life is the extent to which members of a society are engaged in their civic duties.  These are duties like voting, paying taxes, and volunteer service.

A college degree often means a higher salary – and a higher tax rate.  The bright side is that when you pay Uncle Sam, local, state and federal governments provide important and valuable things like better roads, schools, and community services.

Perhaps paying more in taxes drives a sense of civic duty. Nearly half of all volunteers in 2006 held at least a bachelor’s degree.  Forty-three percent of those who volunteered with an organization were college graduates; 19% were high school graduates.


Parenting Professionals

Now are you ready for a surprise? The College Board study found that children of college graduates are better prepared for school and participate in more extracurricular activities, which means they will be more likely to attend college themselves.

Children of college graduates are:

  • More active in sports – 44% participated in sports activities, compared to 18% of children of high school graduates
  • 30% more likely to participate in scouting and art related activities than children of high school graduates

To be fair, there may be other social and economic factors that play a part in this data.  Regardless, there are a number of reasons why education is a positive investment.  From better health to a bigger paycheck, a college degree is a smart investment.




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