The Heart Beat: College degree important for health, well-being and family


Curtis Bovee

Staff Writer

Most people consider the main incentive of a college degree to be monetary; however, a college degree is worth more than the financial benefits.

In a campus poll of students, 7 out of 10 students at CSUSM indicated that the number one reason they are striving for a college degree is to obtain a better career.

Education pays, and is also directly correlated with better health, greater longevity, greater community involvement, greater happiness, and better quality of life.

According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with a bachelor’s degree or higher live nine years longer than those who don’t graduate high school.

Furthermore, studies reveal that better educated people have lower morbidity rates from the most common acute and chronic diseases, independent of basic demographic and labor market factors. While life expectancy is increasing for all demographics, the differences in life expectancy have grown between those with and without an education.

While attaining a college degree is nothing short of a challenge, it is unquestionably worth the stress that comes with obtaining a diploma.

Many factors contribute to better health, and more educated individuals tend to have healthier behaviors and have greater access to medical care when it is needed. A significant amount of jobs that require college degrees offer medical insurance and retirement benefits, whereas those jobs without this requirement very seldom offer them.

Civic learning outcomes are arguably the hardest benefits to quantify, yet the most important from obtaining a college degree. In 2004, 36 percent of people age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher reported having volunteered for some type of community service, compared to 21 percent of people whose highest level of education was a high school diploma.

Volunteer opportunities, and basic understandings of ways to contribute and better a society are presented in college, especially at CSUSM.

It is indisputable that those with higher education are more prepared to address current major issues in society. Social understanding, an understanding current events and issues in society locally, nationally and globally. Studies prove that the majority of individuals involved in current societal issues are educated beyond high school.

Communication and listening are imperative skills needed to serve others and have active involvement in community issues.

Understanding the importance of and having a sense of appreciation for diversity is needed. Utilizing skills to effectively work with others in a diverse environment. At CSUSM, this is prevalent in most classes given the abundance of diversity on campus.

Taking personal action with a realistic view that the action will produce the desired change. College education promotes not only a sense of independence, but confidence to promote change at all levels.

More subjective, harder to quantify benefits of a college degree should be far more important than the financial benefits associated with higher education.

Yes, you might be worried about your future post-graduation, just remember that your life will be that much better had you decided against obtaining a diploma.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos