Can a College Degree Help You Live Longer?

The benefits of a college education are well known. People with a four-year degree earn 26% more per week than those with only a high school diploma. A bachelor’s degree also offers much lower percentages of unemployment. So, despite the ever-increasing cost of a bachelor’s degree, which for a public school is $56,840, the cost will probably be worth it over the course of your lifetime in terms of dollars and cents. But did you know that beyond the money, there is a massive health benefit to holding a college degree?

People with college degrees live seven years longer than high school graduates. There are many reasons for this, including that college grads are less likely to smoke, more likely to stay at healthier weights, more likely to exercise regularly, and more likely to regularly see a doctor.

While getting a higher education often seems like an insurmountable obstacle, even when the benefits are so extensive and well-documented, college degrees are more accessible than ever. With more and more non-traditional degree programs available for students with many different needs, often from two-year colleges and public institutions, there’s no reason not to begin exploring degree options for yourself. Degrees in disciplines that lead to jobs in education, healthcare, business, finance, and the sciences are available online with flexible course schedules and financing options.

Even if you’re not sure how you will pay for college, your first step should be to apply. Once you’re accepted at a school, you’ll be given a financial award package that will show you how much you’ll actually be expected to pay. The number is often lower than students expect. You’ll also receive help in finding and selecting student loans that will help you cover the cost. And you won’t be alone. Nearly 68% of all students graduating from college will take out student loans to help pay for it.

A college degree can also offer you the option to choose the career path you would prefer or put your particular skills to better use. We all want to be the authors of our own destiny, and for many that’s precisely what a bachelor’s degree offers.

Finding a college and degree program is the first step in claiming the many benefits that college graduates can expect. A college education can not only help you maintain a high level of income and economic and job security, but it can also mean better health and overall quality of life. After all, college graduates even say they’re happier than high school grads.