And people with a college degree are happier (33) than those without (30). Are you a current college student? All rights reserved. A few years back Richard Easterlin, an early economist in the econometrics of "happiness" published a surprising study. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 66 percent more than those with only a high school diploma; and are also far less likely to face unemployment. But the positive connection for college grads isn’t all about career and money, at least not directly. I believe education is fundamental. A scientific review concludes that happiness can influence physical health, and may have heart-health, immune-system and cellular benefits. The statistics are out there. Marriage has not been proven to make individuals happier, but it does contribute to stability, offering a long-lasting “protection” against unhappiness. Along with Dacher Keltner, PhD, she co-teaches GG101x: The Science of Happiness, a free eight-week massive open online course on the edX.org platform that offers science-based practices for a meaningful, happy life. advertisement. Whatever the economic conditions, Cohen urges students to understand that “happiness is like a muscle that must be exercised and strengthened,” cautioning them not to focus too much on money or moving up the corporate ladder, especially at the expense of relationships or exploring creativity. The study was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Finally, those with a college degree have a higher sense of control, social standing, and support that can positively influence stress, health resources, and health related behaviors. Is it a coincidence? FAQ. Better pay, better marriages, better health and communities. Bart Merkle, dean of students at Grand Valley State University, said much can be gained from a college education, specifically personal and professional growth and tools that can “open doors.”, “I think having an education improves the quality of your life,” Merkle said. Graduates in the UK have a greater sense of personal well-being and life satisfaction than those without a higher education qualification, according to a study. A survey from the Association of Religious Data Archives shows that college grads are the educational group that’s most likely to regularly attend weekly worship services: 46.3% of graduates attend, well over the average of 41.9%. Research profiled on PBS’s This Emotional Life indicates that community involvement contributes to more satisfaction in life. The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, also points to 2018 as the potential turning point for world economic recovery. In addition to stronger marriages and better health, college graduates are more connected to their communities, with higher weekly church attendance and an increased likelihood of civic engagement. According to the Council on Contemporary Families report, college-educated women are not only more likely to marry and stay married, they’re also more likely to report happiness in their marriage than any other group of women. There’s even a significant difference between whites with “some college” and an actual degree: 14.7%. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Economists from the Council on Contemporary Families crunched data from 1950 to 2008, and found that for women, a college education correlates with a higher likelihood of marriage and a falling rate of divorce. Happiness research is “a useful antidote to the tendency of economists to focus exclusively on material determinants of social welfare,” as … CollegeStats.org is an advertising-supported site. A report from the Commission on Health indicates that those with more education are likely to live longer, experience better health outcomes, and practice healthy behaviors like exercise, avoiding smoking, and getting regular checkups. We found the following to be credible references. They also have better working conditions, resources, and income that allow them to experience better health, including less exposure to hazards, availability of insurance and sick leave, and better housing, nutrition, and stress outlets. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Individuals with enough money to make ends meet, like college grads with gainful employment, will be happier than people who are poor. Phone: Mon-Fri 9AM-10PM ET. Unemployment is poised to take a sharp drop down to 5.5% between 2015 and 2018, and GDP will jump during that time period as well: a 3.7% year-to-year change, much higher than 2013’s 1.4%. 1-800-2REVIEW (800-273-8439) 1-877-LEARN-30. College Experiences Are Key to Graduates' Happiness A new report says college experiences matter more than where you went. But even some college or a technical degree correlates with religious attendance: 46.1% of individuals with this level of education attend on a regular basis. The underlying source of the happiness scores in the World Happiness Report is the Gallup World Poll—a set of nationally representative surveys undertaken in more than 160 countries in over 140 languages. 1. College undergraduates living in each location answered questionnaires measuring their psychological and physical well-being, their motivation to pursue happiness, and the extent to which they viewed happiness in social terms—meaning that for them happiness was linked to social engagement and helping others. Local Offices: Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM. Such a view of happiness – where there were higher and lower pleasures – retained its significance and was to gain great currency in the nineteenth century. And people who attend worship services regularly are happier than those who don’t. That’s why, Cohen says, “educational attainment can lead to some serious happiness.”. Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts all took top marks in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The Congressional Budget Office‘s economic outlook is especially bright for the next four years. At any given time, thousands upon thousands of college and university students feel so sad, anxious, lonely, isolated, or overwhelmed that … Here the efforts of John Stuart Mill were particularly noteworthy. List of Top Ranked Colleges and Universities, List of Top Ranked Online Colleges and Universities, List of Cheapest Ranked Colleges and Universities, List of Smallest Ranked Colleges and Universities, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. Partnerships. “There is a real financial cost to an education and unfortunately over the last 25 to 30 years that cost has continued to increase and sometimes at an alarming rate,” Merkle said.  There are sixty women colleges in the United States in twenty-four states. The first to adopt innovations, like self-publishers, app developers, and crowdfunding gurus, have “made a killing,” and Cohen recommends that students keep their eyes peeled for new opportunities like these. They’re certainly not the picture of post-college happiness, but economic predictions suggest that future college grads won’t have the same problems. Many other studies have found correlations between money and happiness, but not happiness and a college degree. Chen says that students should pursue credentials in fields that will be in demand, like accounting and energy. Others are in happy, stable lifelong relationships but have no desire to wed. The U.S. median income in 2010 for high school graduates was $626 a week, compared to $1,038 for those with a bachelor’s degree. SEE ALSO: Dear Peter Thiel: Let’s Fix College, the Right Way. The stability of a college degree can also play a role in determining happiness. At "top" colleges like Ivy Leagues, graduation rates are drastically higher at 90% or more." College depression is a widespread problem. Statistics from the Pew Research Center and the University of Virginia show correlations between happiness and a college education. And before you think it’s all about the financial security offered by a college degree, get this: college educated women reported happiness whatever the level of their family income, and they were also less likely to identify financial security as the main benefit of marriage. Sat-Sun 9AM-8PM ET. You control about half your happiness level. The stability of a college degree can also play a role in determining happiness. The main life evaluation question asked in the poll is: “Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. There are countless pieces of research that all point to the same conclusion: life as a college grad is just better. Further, college graduates are nearly four times less likely than high school graduates to smoke, and are significantly more likely to exercise, wear a seat belt, maintain a healthy weight and regularly see a … According to averages calculated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a bachelor’s degree earn around 64% more per week than individuals with a high school diploma, and around 40% more than those with an associate’s degree. Despite both the difficulty of pursuing a college degree and the correlations that exist between a degree and happiness, Merkle said education helps unlock human potential. Degreed individuals have better health knowledge, literacy, and behaviors, so they are more likely to understand how nutrition, exercise, drugs, alcohol, and health and disease management can impact their lives. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. median income goes up steadily with the attainment of a college education. Higher education gives people the opportunity to explore their passions, be they writing, engineering, or even magic, Cohen explains. Health, happiness, and a positive economic outlook mean that the future is bright for today’s college students. In a perfect world, college equals success, success equals money and money equals happiness. And frequent religious attendance is associated with higher GPAs, as adolescents who attend weekly have an average 2.9 GPA, over 2.6 for students who never attend. HAPPINESS A 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who are altruistic—in this case, people who were generous financially, such as with charitable donations—were happiest overall. Unemployment is lower for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and grads enjoy higher pay. It was also the first college to grant a bachelor’s degree to an African-American woman in 1862. By Lindsey Cook , Data Editor Jan. 12, 2015 Is a college degree the ticket to health, wealth, and happiness? “Any time you can improve the quality of your life you are going to be happier and more content, which then often translates into better relationships and having fun which translates into being happier.”. They should also become fluent in more than one language, particularly Chinese. “People who don’t pursue a college education are at a competitive disadvantage to find opportunities they can plug into to make a living,” Merkle said. We want to hear what you have to say! Accepting a graduate degree from President Braveman. They are also among the top 10 states that boast the highest percentages of population with a bachelor’s degree or higher. “Students need to study things that will get them a job after they graduate,” says Chen. According to the Department of Numbers, unemployment among those with a bachelor’s degree was 4.1 percent in December, compared to 7.7 percent for those with an associate’s degree or some college, 8.7 percent for those with a high school degree and no college and 13.8 percent for high school dropouts. You may not tune in to Dr. Oz this week to find out that college textbooks are the next great superfood, but research shows a college degree would be worthy of such hype, offering graduates the opportunity to experience a longer, healthier life. Among four year colleges, just 56% of students graduate within six years. Despite the fact that many variables may play a role in the determination of happiness, Burns said he strongly believes one of the most important predictors is a college education. Their long list of free services includes career profiles, career videos, salary data, college profiles, information on majors and degrees, financial aid advice, and career assessment tests. 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