Go to College = Live 7 Years Longer!

After teaching 27 sections of Psychology of Motivation to incoming freshman, I have observed 3 prevailing themes in earning a college degree:

  1. To experience future financial success
  2. To have a more satisfying career path
  3. To reach a higher potential, create opportunities and be proud of their choices

There is one benefit that most students don’t realize when they are signing admissions papers.  Once you enter the world of higher education, you are likely to live 7 years longer than your less educated peers!

According to a Harvard study:
Research for a          Life expectancy for people           Life expectancy for people
25 Year old in:           with a high school diploma           with any college
or less
1990                              75 Years                                                   80 Years
2000                              75 Years                                                   85 Years

And evidentially, the life expectancy gap is widening between the more and less educated.

Additional benefits to consider:

  • Higher immunity to unemployment. Jobs requiring higher skills are safer during times of recession.   Typically, high unemployment rates include a much higher percentage of less educated workers.

In 2009-2010, over the age of 25                                Unemployment rate
No high school education                                             15%
High school diploma                                                      9.4-11.2%
Some college or Associate’s degree                          8-9%
College graduates                                                          4.4-5%

-Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • More money. The numbers are clear.  The US Census Bureau says that with these degrees, you could earn:
    • High school Diploma:      $26,933
    • Associate’s Degree:        $36,645
    • Bachelor’s Degree:          $52,671
    • Master’s Degree:              $66,754


To better understand the gravity of the difference education makes regarding lifetime earnings, The College Board, 2005, shares “The typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn about 73 percent more over a 40-year working life than the typical high school graduate earns over the same time period.”

  • Children of college graduates are much more likely to go to college.  Graduates leave an invaluable legacy.
  • Statistically, college graduates are healthier and happier with higher self-esteem.
  • College graduates have greater participation in leisure activities.  They spend more time doing what they love because they are not working their fingers to the bone for low pay.
  • Interestingly enough, college graduates are less likely to smoke and more likely to vote, volunteer, wear seatbelts and donate blood!

A better life and a longer life – the road to success just may be paved with textbooks.

Author’s Bio:
Julie Lancaster has been employed with CollegeAmerica Flagstaff since 2005 and has served in the roles of associate professor, career services adviser, career services director, and dean of education.  She holds a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on culture, language and diversity.  She teaches Psychology of Motivation, Communication Arts, Introduction to Logic, English Composition, and Professional Development and Employment Techniques. She believes in the future of the students she teaches.

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