Why Should I Go to College?

High school seniors have a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to go to college. This article reviews some of the major benefits of going to college, which include higher pay.

Financial Benefits

Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2014 show that, on average, graduates of associate's degree programs earn roughly $124 more per week than men and women with only a high school diploma. For bachelor's degree-holders, the figure is about $433 a week more. This difference continues to grow with higher levels of education, with a nearly $971 difference between high school graduates and graduates of professional degree programs.

Important Information About Salary Statistics

Level of EducationMedian Weekly Earnings (2014)
High school diploma$668
Some college, but no degree$741
Associate's degree$792
Bachelor's degree$1,101
Master's degree$1,326
Doctoral degree$1,591
Professional degree$1,639

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Higher Quality of Life

Those who go to college gain benefits beyond increased income potential. Higher income can translate into higher savings levels, better mobility and improved quality of life for graduates' children. Those who go to college tend to make more informed consumer decisions and have opportunities for more hobbies and recreational activities. Studies also have shown that those with a higher income level typically have better health and lower mortality rates.

Career Learning

Many professions require that a practitioner acquire skills and knowledge through textbooks, classroom lectures, labs and internships before becoming part of the work force in his or her chosen career. Most professionals learn through a combination of college and university education and supervised practice rather than through post-high school apprenticeship programs.

Societal Benefits

An individual who chooses to go to college often finds a partner with like education and interests. Opportunities for meeting people and forming long-term relationships, whether professional or personal, are increased due to the many recreational activities that are associated with college life.

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