Benefits to a College Educated Woman

In 2010, Utah Women and Education Project researchers conducted in-depth research to discover why more young women around the state are not attending and graduating from college. The full set of results was published in a series of 12 research snapshots, which you can find on the Utah Women and Education website. Here, we look at some of the many benefits women experience after getting a college degree.

Benefits

Research has shown that people who are more educated are more likely to receive the following benefits:

HEALTH & WELLBEING

  • Live longer lives (on average)
  • Have an overall healthier lifestyle (exercise more, healthier diet, lower alcohol abuse, lower cholesterol levels, higher fiber intake, smoke less)
  • Are less overweight or obese
  • Have increased life satisfaction and overall happiness
  • Are more resilient and less depressed (better mental health)
  • Obtain more resources to pay for health insurance

PARENTING

  • Give birth to healthier babies
  • Spend more time reading to their children
  • Prepare children better academically for school
  • Have children who participate in extracurricular activities
  • Provide healthier lifestyles for their children
  • Work higher paying, more flexible jobs
  • Have more college-educated children who can better provide for self and families

ECONOMIC

  • Earn more money
  • Have better job opportunities
  • Gain access to better health care and related benefits
  • Lower risk of unemployment
  • Better prepared to financially support self and family

CIVIC AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

  • Participate substantially more in civic and community activities (examples: voting, donating blood, filling leadership role)
  • Be a more conscientious civic and community volunteer

INTELLECTUAL/COGNITIVE

  • Better lifelong learning skills
  • More intelligence/knowledge (e.g., English, science, math, social sciences, reading)
  • Stronger teamwork and interpersonal skills
  • Increased ability to integrate ideas and concepts
  • Stronger writing and verbal skills
  • Higher critical and creative thinking, as well as decision making skills
  • Enhanced quantitative and analysis skills

SELF-DEVELOPMENT

  • Improved self-understanding
  • Greater independence and feelings of control in life
  • Superior leadership skills
  • Higher ethical and moral standards and reasoning
  • Stronger social skills
  • Better self-concept/self-esteem
  • Openness to diversity and racial understanding
  • Greater ability to make reasoned, reflective judgments
  • Stimulating occupations
  • Increased quality of life

How you can help

  • Help young women and those who influence them (e.g., parents, teachers, counselors, church leaders, relatives, and employers); understand the broad value of getting a college education.
  • Talk to girls, as young as possible, about going to college.
  • Discuss with girls and young women the importance of graduating from college and not just attending college. Use the word “graduation” in more conversations.
  • Encourage young women to attend college directly out of
    high school. Ask K-12 teachers to integrate assignments that help students research why college is important; invite guest speakers to discuss the college experience.

The text of this blog was excerpted from a January 2011 research snapshot authored by Dr. Susan R. Madsen titled, “The Benefits of Higher Education for Women in Utah.” (Please see the entire brief for more information on research context.)

One thought on “Benefits to a College Educated Woman

  1. I had heard that college could benefit you in all sorts of different ways, and I wanted to learn more about it. You wrote that when you have a college degree, you have an easier way to access health care and related benefits. With that, it could give you a lot of peace of mind, knowing that you can get medical help when you need I the most. Thanks for the great article.

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