The Impact of a College Education

For traditional high school students, summer break is officially here! Whether you’re a rising freshman or senior, it’s never too early to start thinking about life after high school. Attending college can be a great choice to invest in your education and future. In today’s blog, we go over a few of the ways a college education can impact you.

Higher Income

Throughout their lifetime, college graduates tend to outearn those with only a high school diploma. Many jobs that only require a high school diploma don’t offer significant wage increases, meaning workers in those positions will earn roughly the same income at the end of their career as the beginning. On the other hand, college-educated workers can expect more considerable wage increases as they gain more experience.

Some may think the wage gap between college-educated and high school diploma-only workers is decreasing. According to Axios, however, that was a temporary trend caused by the post-pandemic demand for essential workers and the gap is once again widening.

Lower Unemployment Rates

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for college graduates in 2023 was 2.2% compared to 3.9% for workers with only a high school diploma. Additionally, having a college degree can prove to be beneficial during times of economic recession. Forbes shared that a Public Policy Institute of California report showed that 18% of workers without a college degree faced unemployment during the COVID-19 recession compared to only 10% of college-educated workers.

Employer Benefits

Job positions that require a college degree are more likely to offer benefits such as retirement plans and health insurance coverage. See below for findings from the College Board’s Education Pays report.

Full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree (25 or older) Full-time workers with a high school diploma only (25 or older)
Offered employer retirement plan (government sector) 79% 71%
Offered employer retirement plan (private sector) 47% 38%
Offer employer-provided health insurance 66% 53%

Earning a college education is a great way to prepare you for the career and life you envision. At Meredith, we are committed to providing a strong education and helping you discover and build on your strengths. All so you can go strong beyond graduation.


Education Pays (College Board)
Is College Worth It? Consider These Factors Before Enrolling (Forbes)
Show this chart to anyone who tells you college isn’t worth it (Axios)
Yes, College Is ‘Worth It’ (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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