Most students are well aware that getting their college degrees can lead to greater salary potential and the ability to earn more over their lifetime than those without a degree. Yet what advantages are there to getting a college degree besides the obvious monetary ones? The results of some recent scientific discoveries might be surprising to many students and make them even happier they’re working on getting a degree.
Economist Betsey Stevenson, an assistant professor at the Wharton School, has compiled research that suggests women who have a college degree are more likely than those without to be married at age 40. While that statistic alone isn’t particularly surprising, women with degrees are also more likely to describe their marriages as being happy and have significantly lower rates of divorce. Researchers have suggested that this is because women with degrees have greater financial security and are more able to be choosy when it comes to partners, selecting those that are a better match and waiting until later in life to get married. While most female college students don’t get a degree with this in mind, it’s a nice, if not unexpected benefit, of educational success.
Male students need not feel left out in the benefits of a college degree. College graduates of both sexes are also more likely than others to engage in behaviors that improve their health. This leads to a longer life expectancy and lower risk of obesity and heart disease — two factors that can cause numerous health problems at any age. The health benefits of being a student carry over into the next generation as well, as children of college graduates generally have a better quality of life as well as improved test scores and cognitive abilities, living longer, more successful lives than their parents.
Additionally, while college grads may work hard, they also play hard. College graduates are more likely than other groups to enjoy the great outdoors with hiking and camping as well as being more likely to visit amusement parks, art museums and sporting events. If that wasn’t enough, college grads are often more involved in politics and spend more time reading than those without a college degree. All that effort to get a degree pays off in the end with greater abilities to enjoy the fun things in life as well.
While the reasons students choose to pursue a college degree differs from person to person, these unexpected benefits of getting it done can add additional motivation and encourage students of all ages to reap all the rewards higher education has to offer.