Blog Post

The Benefits of Higher Education

The Benefits of Higher Education

Three Ways Education Improves Your Life

“An investment in education pays the best.” - Benjamin Franklin


Education is seen as the golden ticket to a better life, however this ticket is not being taken by many young individuals at the perfect age to pursue higher education. For various reasons, students have no drive or interest in the benefits of the institutions that surround them.  In the  New York Times article “Bottom Line: How State Budget Cuts Affect Your Education,” Sarah Brown demonstrates how state spending to universities has dropped dramatically nationwide since 2008 and the numbers presented are staggering; some universities are experiencing cuts of more than 50%. The implications of what is happening here are dismal - spending cuts are “forcing many public universities to lay off faculty and staff members, postpone in new facilities and raise tuition fees.” Due to these massive reductions to funding colleges and universities, education is becoming less available to the general public due to increased cost. There seems to be no reasonable stance which successfully argues that education should not be provided to all individuals in a society. There is a plethora of research showing correlation between educational attainment and quality of life; it should be common understanding that education is no longer a privilege, but rather a right and a necessary resource. Students must realize the potential that surrounds them and the benefit that is provided by it.

Spending cuts and subsequent financial burdens are causing our country and its citizens to experience a major issue - many students are having education withheld from them due to the increasing cost of becoming educated. Education is an invaluable tool in liberating the minds of individuals to an elevated state of understanding and potential. It allows one to question and analyze the various going-ons of the world and its inhabitants. Education allows one to approach controversy and to form strongly validated, persuasive views. When a nation’s citizens become educated, they see a general improvement in quality of life and an improvement in their society. Education is of utmost importance in enhancing the lives of the individual and for allowing a society to develop and flourish.

Education is currently greatly privileged, with financial burdens serving to be a limiting force for many potential students. The ultimate tool to really increase the abundance of educational opportunities begins at lowering if not removing entirely, the tuition of college and treating it as a common good. Free college is not some mystical fantasy, as it has indeed existed in the past and still does exist in small institutions scattered across America. The notion of free college can only exist in the public institutions, however, as the cost of tuition is remarkably lower than that of private institutions.


Economic Growth and Stability

Many economists agree that education is directly correlated with economic growth and stability. Countries thrive when their educational systems thrive. In “Education and Economic Growth,” the authors greatly encourage school reform in order to improve education because it strengthens national economic competitiveness. They cite the National Commision on Excellence on Education in stating that “in order to keep and improve on the slim competitive edge we still retain in world markets, we must dedicate ourselves to the reform of our educational system.” The improvement of educational stances in countries promotes its economic standing and stability.

We can all understand that educated individuals bring in bigger paychecks than those who are lacking in their education. But are we aware of education’s true implications? George Schultz and Eric Hanushek write in the Wall Street Journal that education has tremendous economic ramifications. The more educated the citizens of a country are, the more likely their personal and societal economies are to develop and succeed. Essentially, “educational outcomes strongly affect economic growth and the distribution of income.”  According to economists at Harvard University, the 60% to 70% rise in wage inequality is based on the degree of education for high school and college graduates. Education benefits entire countries as well. Schultz and Hanushek explain that the more educated the citizens of a country are the more the country experiences economic growth. Both on personal and national levels, education has been shown to increase economic growth and stability.


Happier and Healthier Lives

One of the most important benefits of education is how it improves personal lives and helps societies run smoothly. We live longer, fuller, and happier lives as learned and knowledgeable individuals. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), educated people are more actively involved in various societal activities such as “voting, volunteering, political interest and interpersonal trust.” Knowledge in many fields contributes to participating in these activities and events. Education - the accumulated knowledge and abilities attained over years of learning - makes people aware of what they are capable of, allowing them to enhance their lives and contribute to the world at large. After spending many years learning, people tend to feel happier and more content as they lead educated lives. The knowledge students gather and skills they develop that stem from their education allow them to participate in cultural and societal events and activities. Consequently, education promotes fulfilling, fuller lifestyles.    

    Aside from improving day-by-day living, educated individuals tend to live longer lives than their uneducated counterparts. Education is essential in improving our lifestyles and overall well-being because it makes us aware of what we know and what we can do. We lead happier lives with the knowledge we accumulate and the skills we acquire throughout our educational years. Happier people are healthier people; the life expectancy of those who are educated is longer, on average, than those who are lacking in their education. Improved mental, physical and emotional health can all be attributed to education.. According to Michael Kruger and Ernest Abel in the Psychological Reports journal, the rates of suicide for educated individuals is far lower than their uneducated counterparts. Learned people lead fuller, more meaningful lives and consequently have greater inspiration to keep on living and to fulfill their life goals and dreams.


    Societal Benefits - Unity and Trust

Society as a whole benefits as a result of education. An educated community is a united community. Education leads to feelings of “togetherness” and compatibility within a society. Anne Bert Dijkstra, a professor at the Arizona State University, writes that in order for a society to grow, it must share common goals and values while simultaneously promoting variance and uniqueness. He explains that “in a peaceful, strong and vibrant society, differences can only exist if there is sufficient common ground.” When inhabitants of a country come together to participate in shared democratic practices, such as voting or partaking in national polls and surveys, they experience feelings of solidarity and nationalism as a collective unit working to move their country forward. Education helps to promote an awareness of these practices and how we should perform or observe them. The more educated a country’s citizens are, the more the country will advance and progress.

When considering the potential benefits of pursuing an education, the idea of a stable and successful career generally comes to mind: individuals who pursue higher education are generally wealthier than those who do not. While this alone can be a valid reason to persuade one to continue their education beyond what is required by the state, the benefits of education on the quality of life are far broader than what we normally consider. The improvements that stem from education span from the realm of financial stability to that of mental stability - one is not only more secure financially but also more likely to enjoy many aspects of life as someone who is learned and intellectually accomplished. Education should no longer be viewed and treated as a privilege, but rather considered a right and necessity for the individuals of society. Societies around the world must work at providing education for those who seek it.

The glaring benefits of education are too important to have education something which is as inaccessible as it is today. Too many students cannot afford higher education and the unfortunate result is that their lives are not nearly as full as they can be. Each and every person deserves to realize his or her full potential and to strive towards achieving all that he or she possibly can. If education can be made more accessible to the public, all those students who are experiencing a rejection of pursuing a meaningful, educated life will now be able to finally follow their dreams by learning and absorbing what they are taught. Some viable options for allowing a surge of education to the country’s youth is by lowering the cost of higher education or providing free higher education as many countries offer. Doing so will serve help ease or even solve several issues that our country is facing including but not limited to poverty, student debt, inequality and economic decline. Research shows with overwhelming support that educational attainment correlates directly with an increased quality of life, and therefore it is an injustice to humanity to deny or obstruct any person from the pursuit of and education.


No comments