Benefits of Higher Education

Despite the difficult economic conditions since 2008, research by the College Board confirms that there are significant personal and public benefits to higher education. In short, a college degree continues to be worth the investment of time and money, both for the individual and for society.

Consider these personal benefits from the College Board research:

  • The average salary for someone with a bachelor's degree, regardless of gender or race, is significantly higher than that of a high school graduate. Over a lifetime, a person with a bachelor's degree will, on average, earn 66 percent more than someone with a high school diploma, amounting to $800,000-$1,000,000. The difference increases with graduate and professional degrees.
  • Those with college degrees are more likely to have a comprehensive benefits package, including a pension plan.
  • Those with college degrees are less like to be unemployed. This is especially true for African Americans.
  • Those with college degrees are less likely to smoke, and more likely to be both healthier and happier.

The College Board research shows that there are significant public benefits as well:

  • Those with a college degree are more likely to vote, more likely to volunteer and more likely to serve in leadership positions in the community.
  • Those with college degrees are significantly less likely to be on welfare and other government-subsidized programs.
  • Because of the higher salaries earned by college graduates, tax revenues will increase without raising the tax rates.