Each year, some 2.8 million students in the United States earn two- and four-year degrees from American colleges and universities, stimulating economic, social, and cultural growth for themselves and for society. Powerful evidence demonstrates that these college graduates receive important social and personal benefits from their college education.
Last week, AGB highlighted the financial benefits that college graduates receive. This week showcases the broader benefits of a college degree.
College graduates feel happier and healthier. College graduates are more likely to say they are happy with their lives than those who do not hold a degree. They are more likely to own their homes and to be married. They also tend to smoke less, exercise more, and reflect lower levels of obesity.
College graduates promote a legacy of learning. College graduates explore significantly more personal learning opportunities throughout their lives, and also share a love for learning with their kids. Children whose parents earn college degrees are more inclined to pursue educational activities—including college. In fact, 85 percent of children whose parents completed college will go on to attend a college or university themselves.
College graduates are connected to their communities. On average, college graduates donate to charity in amounts 3.4 times higher than high school graduates, and are twice as likely to volunteer their time. Degree holders are also 3.2 times more likely to serve as leaders in school, community, service, and religious organizations.
There is powerful evidence that the return on investment for a college education is not merely professional, but also personal. It’s important that higher education leaders continue to communicate the enduring value of a college degree and the personal benefits it confers to graduates.