The Value of Higher Education

college students
At the Alliance, we strongly believe in the importance of higher education and have consistently prioritized education as a fundamental aspect of our Member benefits. Although some individuals have expressed concerns about higher education, primarily due to its cost, we firmly believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Here are several ways in which higher education can still have a significant impact on the future of young individuals:

Financial Success

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median average income of high school graduates in 2017 (the last year data is available) was $712. For those with a bachelor’s degree it jumped to $1,173. For those with Master’s, Doctoral, and Professional degrees, median incomes were $1,401, $1743 and $1836, respectively. College graduates have about 2 – 2½ times the earning power of non-graduates. And yes, the unemployment rate is also significantly lower for people with degrees. The 2017 unemployment rate was 2.5% for people who had bachelor’s degrees vs. 4.6% for those with with no college. Unemployment rates drop to 2.2% for people with Master’s degrees and 1.5% for people with professional and doctorate degrees. Higher education means better outcomes.

Personal Development

Physically, mentally and emotionally, young people develop a great deal during typical college years. At the same time, college teaches them to be organized, grasp complex subjects, think analytically, identify and solve problems, manage emotions and think critically. And that’s just in the classroom. Outside the classroom, the personal skills students develop can include teamwork, communication, network and relationship building and creativity. These skills can benefit students through the rest of their lives, professionally and personally. Learning all this, especially while coming of age, can help young people develop lifelong habits that are crucial to success in every area of life.

A Career You Love

By now, we all know that people will spend more time at work than socializing, engaged in hobbies, or relaxing. Job satisfaction can be a huge contributor to overall happiness in life. And studies show that college-educated Americans are more likely to experience job satisfaction. More important, job satisfaction isn’t exclusively born from financial accomplishments. The key, psychologists find, is “a higher calling.” (Zookeepers have have some of the highest levels of job satisfaction.) In college, a young person can find their passion and develop the knowledge they need to turn that calling into a career they love. At Alliance Direct Benefits, we want to see people succeed in their life and career. Because everyone should be able to pursue a passion, we made sure the Alliance Scholarship & Grant Programs were included in all member plans, including our affordable Alliance Value Plan. These programs help relieve members and their dependents from the burden of paying for tuition, fees, books, and equipment costs. To help answer questions a student or parent might have about getting ready for college, including how to choose the right school, how to prepare for school, and how to apply, among other topics, we created the It’s here to help you pursue your passions and be prepared for the future.