Why Go to College?

By Horacio Romero Castillo

If you are heading into your junior or senior year of high school, you may be asking yourself, what’s next? Is college something I should think about? It may be hard to see yourself in college, especially if no one in your family has ever gone. But, consider some of the benefits that come along with a college degree.

By going to college, you open a door of opportunities. Finding a job is easier with a college degree. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, high school graduates have an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, while college graduates have an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. But it’s not just finding a job that will be easier. The kind of job you can find with a college degree will pay you more on average.

An individual with a high school diploma earns a median income of $712 a week. The same person with a  bachelor’s degree earns a median income of $1,173. And if you’re motivated, a master’s degree can bump that up to $1,401 a week.

If money alone isn’t a deciding factor, higher education brings along social benefits as well. Most people meet lifelong friends during their time in college. College is an opportunity to expose yourself to new ideas, ways of thinking, and people who are different than you. The professors you will learn from are important people whose networks and recommendations can steer you towards lifelong passions and careers. These connections can help find jobs throughout your life.

If yo’re still not convinced, going to college can be good for your health! Studies have shown that going to college can lead to a healthier and happier life. Based on a CDC Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults, people with a college education are less likely to have risk factors for disease like smoking, being physically inactive, being obese, or having children who are obese. Also, according to a report by the Pew Research Center, college graduates are more likely to have long lasting marriages.

A college education is valuable for many reasons. It can lead you to a higher paying job, special relationships  and a healthier lifestyle. Education matters to your health and socio-economic prospects. Think about it before making a choice!


Department of Labor

Pew Research Center