By Kimaya RajeIt’s here – senior year of high school. You’ve felt like you’ve been through so much to get to this point in your education. In fact, it’s been about twelve years of schooling! Senior year is supposed to be easy enough – most of the hard work is already over. But if you are like 68% of students, you are planning to apply to colleges this fall. But between applications, stress, the price tag, and completely turning your life upside down, is college worth it? Maybe you would be better off to find a job that could help you support yourself now. Actually, getting a college degree is more valuable than ever before! Going to college can set you up for economic stability and even a healthy and happy life. 1. Lower Unemployment Rate According to a New York Times article, college graduates have an unemployment rate of 2.3% compared to the overall unemployment rate of 4.6%. In fact, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that more than 95% of all the new jobs created after the Great Recession went to workers with at least some college experience. Essentially, jobs for less educated people will typically require less problem-solving and creativity than jobs that require a college degree. So, in a turbulent economy, jobs done by non-college graduates are easy to outsource to other countries or even computerize unlike jobs that require a higher level of education. 2. Higher Income Apart from job security, there is a significant difference between the average income of someone with a college degree and without a college degree. In 2017, college graduates earned $1,173 weekly versus $712 for high school graduates; that’s 40% more for the graduates over the non-graduates. This is why college is worth it! 3. Company Perks Having a more crucial, often higher-end job has its perks beyond just money. In their 2016 edition of Education Pays, the CollegeBoard notes that college graduates are also more likely to be able to afford their employer’s retirement plan than only high school graduates. They are also more likely to be covered by their company’s health insurance. 4. Healthier Lives Speaking of health, college graduates are actually more likely to lead healthier lives. The CollegeBoard also found that poverty, smoking, and obesity rates decrease as education increases. College graduates also exercise more than non-college graduates. This has long-term effects as well since their life expectancy is 7 years longer at 25 than that of people who have never gone to college. 5. Job Satisfaction A 2013 study found that job satisfaction increased with level of education. They found that 53% of people between 25 to 32 with a bachelor’s degree or higher were very satisfied with their job, compared to only 37% of those who had a high school diploma or less. 6. Happiness Job satisfaction also correlates with happiness. A higher proportion of people who are satisfied with their jobs report being very happy with their lives than those who are less satisfied with their jobs. According to a 2008 study by the CollegeBoard, 44% of the people who said that they were very satisfied with their jobs said that they were very happy unlike the 15% who were very happy and dissatisfied with their jobs. So, college graduates tend to be happier than non-graduates. 7. Families and Communities Even your love life can benefit from a college education! 67.2% of people with a bachelor’s degree are married and only 12.4% are divorced or separated. Compare this to 55.4% of people with just a high school diploma who are married and 20% of whom are divorced or separated. Their children also tend to partake in educational activities with other family members more than their counterparts. College graduates are also more actively involved in their communities by volunteering and voting than those who don’t have a college degree. Is a College Education Worth It? Clearly going to college is important so that you can earn an education in the area that you are most passionate about—but remember that there are a lot of other reasons you should go! Going to college gives you a higher chance of having job and economic stability and a healthier and happier life. Getting that college degree can really set you up for a much better life than the alternative!