The Benefits of an Educated Population

March 25th, 2015

We all know that college provides economic rewards to degree holders. A recent article in the journal “Science” put the true cost of college at “negative” $500,000, meaning that going to college results in a half-million dollars of additional lifetime earnings. But how would Arizona benefit from more of its citizens holding college degrees?

That’s the question the College Benefits infographic, on our website, seeks to answer. If Arizona residents are more likely to be employed and receiving higher paychecks, then the state’s tax revenue will also rise. We estimate that adding just 500 college graduates to the Arizona workforce would increase state tax revenue by more than $1 million every year. How much revenue would10 new graduates raise? Or 10,000? Use the slider on our webpage to find out.  The numbers will surprise you.

In addition to these economic gains, we know that increasing the number of college graduates increases the number of Arizona residents who: are healthier, have children who do better in school, vote more, volunteer and serve on civic boards more, and support the arts.

And, according to Lorenzo Baber, from the University of Illinois, “College-educated citizenry are more employable, less likely to engage in high-risk health behaviors, which decreases your health costs, and are less likely to participate in any criminal activity, If you want to decrease health care costs, if you want to decrease the cost of incarceration, education is the ladder you should focus on.”

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts about how an educated Arizona will benefit our community.  Email us to share your opinion, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Greg Hyland is the Director of Communications and Engagement for College Success Arizona.

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