The Benefits of College Education to Individuals and to Society

Posted by Lumina Foundation on October 26, 2015

Lumina Report Offers More Evidence that College Is Indeed “Worth It”

So concludes the recently published Lumina Issue Paper entitled It’s Not Just the Money: The Benefits of College Education to Individuals and to Society. In this paper, the author, Professor Philip Trostel of the University of Maine, corroborates existing evidence that the benefits of a higher education extend far beyond the increased earnings.

According to this report’s findings, compared with high school graduates who never attended college, Americans with bachelor’s degrees who graduated from college in 2012 were:

• 44% more likely to report their health as “very good or excellent”;
• Five times less likely to be in jail;
• Four times less likely to smoke; and
• 21% more likely to be married.

According to the report, the benefits of a college education extend far beyond the individual to the community as a whole. College graduates from 2012 compared as follows against non-graduates; they were:

• More than twice as likely to volunteer in their community;
• Significantly more likely to vote and be involved politically;
• Almost twice as likely to be involved in school, community service, and civic and religious organizations; and
• Utilize 39% less likely to use government resources while contributing significantly more in federal, state and local taxes.

So not only do individuals college completers contribute to the economic well-being of their community, they contribute to its social fabric as well. And they’re happier and healthier as well!

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