Published every three years, the College Board’s Education Pays report (last published in 2010) is a good reminder of what impact a higher education has on the life of a student. It contains all the same statistics you’ve heard about future earnings and job stability, which is a welcome reassurance that the price of college is still worth it, but the report goes beyond that and addresses the social and health impacts of getting an education. That’s right. Going to college impacts your health and the health of any children you may have. Read the full report or check out the highlights:
- From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of four-year college graduates who smoked declined from 14% to 9%, while the rate for high school graduates declined from 29% to 27%. That means college grads are three times less likely to smoke.
- The report says, “At every age, individuals with higher levels of education are more likely than those with lower levels of education to engage in leisure-time exercise.” The numbers are more compelling: 63% of four-year college graduates said they exercised vigorously at least once a week. Among high school graduates in this age range, it was only 37%.
- College grads are less likely to be overweight as they age. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, 23% of four-year college graduates and 37% of high school graduates were obese in 2008.
- Mothers with only a high school education are 31% more likely than mothers with a bachelor’s degree or higher to give birth to babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds (a low birth weight, which could have medical implications).
The point here? Going to college isn’t just about your ambition, your salary, or your job. Education affects the way you live. So stay healthy and get wise by going to school.