Thursday, March 1, 2012

Earning a bachelor’s degree as an adult sets the stage for a healthier midlife

The benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree are numerous. For example, degree-holders report higher earnings, more job opportunities, and better quality of life. Today, adult learners can add another benefit to this list: Earning a bachelor’s degree as an adult can help you have a happier and healthier midlife.

According to a new study by researchers at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, adults who earn a bachelor’s degree after age 25 reported fewer depressive symptoms and enjoyed better overall health than adults who did not obtain a college degree by midlife. The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the study’s findings that adults who earn a college degree are healthier in midlife. Jump over to the article for more.

Many of our students have shared stories that support the findings of this study when we’ve interviewed them for the blog. The average age of our students is 35, so they fit right into this demographic. Here are some excerpts from their experiences:

“My hope is that someone who is considering college, whether a working adult or someone young, will see that it is not impossible to get your degree, regardless of your situation ... Whether you are working full time, have a family, or have other circumstances, it is not impossible. The only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself.” -- Karl Fritz ‘06

“I desperately needed to take on the challenge of finding a career in which I can thrive, both intellectually and economicall ... I decided to ignore the endless supply of paperwork and the continuous phone calls, so that I could finally take the initiative to change my life.” -- Rashika Small

“Education has given me more confidence in my own abilities and in who I am as a person. This has positively impacted my professional confidence level. During interviews I find I’m calm and more sure of myself.” -- Nephetina Serrano

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this story. Why do you think this achievement tends to have this effect on graduates? Did earning your bachelor’s degree as an adult make you feel healthier and happier?