Higher salaries and better jobs aside, there are three good reasons to get your college degree that you might not have considered.
In a study conducted by the College Board, college graduates were revealed to have qualities that indicate they will be productive members of society. For example, college graduates are more likely to vote and volunteer, be respectful of others’ opinions, and raise children who have better health and perform well at school.
College Graduates are Good Citizens
Being a good citizen means much more than just recycling your empty water bottles and biking to work. It means volunteering your time to those in need, voting, and paying taxes.
Volunteering: Of the participants in the College Board survey, forty-three percent of the men and women surveyed who volunteered held at least a bachelor’s degree; only 19% of those were high school graduates.
Voting: Data from the 2004 presidential election found that out of voters between the ages of 25 and 44, 75% of college graduates voted compared to 49% of high school graduates.
Taxes: College graduates benefit from higher salaries but society benefits from the higher tax revenues graduates generate for local, state and federal governments. A typical graduate, working full-time year-round, paid almost 80 percent more in total federal, state, and local taxes than a high school graduate.
College Graduates Enjoy Better Health
Good genes might play a role in good health, but the College Board study also found that there is a relationship between educational attainment and better health at every age and income level.
Eighty-three percent of four-year college graduates with incomes between $55,000 and $74,999 reported being in excellent or very good health, compared to 75% of associate degree recipients and 73% of high school graduates.
Smoking: College graduates are less likely to smoke. Of the 20% of adults who smoke, only 9% are college graduates and 69% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher have never smoked.
Exercise: Regardless of age, college graduates at all levels are more likely to exercise. Among graduates aged 25-34, 78% exercised moderately at least once a week, whereas only 49% of high school graduates indicated the same.
College Graduates Have Well-Prepared Children
Children of college graduates are much more likely to graduate high school, go to college, and enjoy the benefits of an education.
Children of college graduates are 30% more likely to participate in scouting and art-related activities than children of high school graduates, and 44% participated in sports activities, compared to 18% of children of high school graduates.
Although there may be other social and economic factors that contribute to this data, it is clear that education is an investment with a number of returns.