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Why You Need a College Degree

January 19th, 2010

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With all of the money, time, and hard work, that goes into earning a degree you might be reluctant to pursue one. Even though you might have always heard that you need to go to college, you may not have ever been told why.

You need a college degree because it pays financially. If you have ever thought that when it comes to making money that a college degree won't matter in the long run, think again. Over a lifetime, the average college graduate earns 60 percent more than the average high school graduate, reported College Board in their 2009 study "Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society". Even if you have to borrow the money to pursue higher education a degree might pays off sooner than you expected. The study reported that by the age of 33, the average graduate who enrolled in college at the age of 18 has earned enough to compensate not only for borrowing the full cost of their education at the average public university, including loan interest, but enough to cover any earning that may have been sacrificed during the college years.

You need a college degree because it increases the quality of life. When it comes to health and family life, those who graduated from college tend to fare better than those who did not. The percentage of adults perceiving themselves as healthy increases with higher levels of education, the study reported. Even bachelor's degree recipients who were considered low income were more likely to report that they were either in excellent or very good health compared to high school graduates. This could be the result of healthier lifestyle choices when it comes to smoking and exercise. According to the study, since risks about smoking became public, the smoking rates among college graduates have been significantly lower than other adults. Individuals with higher education are also more likely to engage in exercise during their leisure time than those with lower levels of education. When it comes to family life, the children of those with a college education benefit. Higher cognitive skills and involvement in extracurricular activities are seen in children with college educated parents. In the study a mother's educational level was highly correlated with the cognitive skills of her children who were between the ages of 3 and 5. When it came to extracurricular activities, 42 percent of children whose parents completed some college participated in after school activity compared with 25 percent of high school graduates.

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