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Benefits of College - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Benefits of a College Education. As tuition costs spiral upwards, there is an increasing tendency to debate the benefits of a college education. Of course, from the economic perspective, a college degree is a powerful tool in the job market…
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Benefits of College

Download file to see previous pages... “The median earnings of full-time workers with bachelor’s degrees were $55,700 in 2008 — $21,900 more than those of workers who finished only high school.” (Lewin, New York Times). While it cannot be denied that a college degree confers unequivocal advantages in terms of career prospects and financial remuneration, opponents argue that a college education is not essential for skill development and the steep costs are not justified by its benefits. On the contrary, the benefits of a college education are not only economical but also encompass tangible benefits involving health, society, family and personality. A college education contributes several health benefits. According to recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people with a college education have an average life expectancy of 9.3 years more than those who are less educated. The percentage of women above the age of 25 who are obese is 39-43 percent for those who have not attended college, in comparison with 25 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree. Similarly, 31 percent of adults in the age group 25 – 64 years, who hold only a High School diploma, are smokers, while only 9 percent of adults with a college degree smoke (Griesmer, College Insider). College graduates are also likely to make other healthier lifestyle choices, such as exercising. Research from the BMC Health Services shows that a higher level of education is also linked to lower blood pressure. College graduates are also at a lower risk of developing colorectal, prostate, lung and breast cancer, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Hardy, Yahoo Education). Their higher paying jobs also ensure that graduates have better access to preventive health care. This also contributes to better health. The societal benefits of a college education are substantial. The higher income earned by graduates translates into higher taxes. The health benefits listed above, combined with the fact that graduates are more likely to have jobs that offer health insurance and retirement benefits, means that graduates are less dependent on government social programs, such as unemployment compensation, Medicare and Medicaid, food programs, and welfare. This results in substantial public savings. The incarceration rate for graduates is only a quarter that of those with a High School diploma, or less. Prison costs are thus reduced. Another emphatic societal benefit stems from the fact that the mission statement of all universities includes civic education. As a consequence, graduates are more likely to participate in community services. 2004 statistics show that 36 percent of graduates performed voluntary community service, in comparison with only 21 percent of High School diploma holders. Similarly, 76 percent of graduates voted in the 2000 election, while only 56 percent of High School diploma holders voted. Educational attainment stimulates public awareness and interest in community issues (Cunningham, John Carroll University). ). The multicultural and multiethnic university world also promotes racial understanding and tolerance, and encourages the belief in common values across racial divides. As such, graduates are more likely to be free of social prejudices and stereotypes than their less-educated peers. A college education benefits the family structure. Studies show that college graduates a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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