“I know that college is important, but I don’t think it makes a difference.”

This is a phrase that is often heard from millennials and adults. This is indeed a very controversial topic that many avoid touching but today, I will touch this and I will explain to you, based on my research, why a college degree is crucial in today’s economy as well as your health.

Let me briefly explain to you why I got so interested in this topic. My fiancee and I were looking for a better location to relocate. We are trying to purchase a condominium in a great location, close to transportation, safe neighborhood, and within our income. We thought we found it! I woke up to an email about a new development and we were going to be one of the first ones to apply.

I checked everything! The mortgage was great, maintenance was fair, and it was located on the Lower East Side of NYC with the best view I could have ever imagined, it was a dream! The inside of the condominium was beyond perfect. I know you can picture how thrilled I felt. However, I forgot to check the most significant factor: safety.

As I printed the application, I felt that it was just too good to be true. What did we do to deserve such a nice place, you know? So I finally decided to check the demographics of Lower East Village, the crime rates, and the condominium’s surroundings. It had the highest crime rates compared to other parts of NYC! Robbery, theft, sexual assault, and other crimes that I just never imagined. “Why?” I asked myself, what type of people live there?”

Long story short, I researched the type of people living there (without getting into ethnicities, that is another research) and came across this table from Trulia.

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As observed on this chart, only 40% of the population from Lower East Side is college educated and the median income is only $36,458, where 90% of NoHo’s population is college educated and their median income is $112,917 and it is very safe with low to no crimes.

The conclusion based on this table is simple: having a college degree will significantly impact your income, which results in you being able to live in a great, safe neighborhood.

What is the connection between people that aren’t college educated and crime?

Here is the thing, people that do not pursue a college education can be classified into two categories: they are already rich or self-employed, or they are unable to afford it and come from a family that does not encourage them to do pursue that degree. Note that self-willingness is also the most significant factor.

What happens with those people that cannot afford it, or that are not willing to go to college just because they believe that college is not for them? Well, they cannot obtain decent or high-paying jobs because they lack relevant skills that can only be learned through a college institution. This causes them to lean towards minimum-wage jobs and to increase poverty rates.

Once some or most of them feel that they can no longer afford nor handle life, they put other’s health and safety at risk by robbing them, attacking them physically and verbally, turning to illegal ways of making money which jeopardizes the society. They do not know any better.

In simple terms, let me tell you why having a college degree is crucial:

  • You get paid more
  • You can afford to live in a great, safe neighborhood
  • Your health improves since you can afford it
  • You switch to a healthier lifestyle
  • You do not collaborate to poverty rates
  • You do not have the need to make money illegally (like selling drugs)
  • You live longer
  • You surround yourself with like-minded individuals
  • Job security
  • More job opportunities compared to uneducated counterparts
  • Most jobs that require a college education have more benefits
  • Job satisfaction since you studied what you love
  • You build a network
  • You create a stronger sense of self
  • You make smarter choices
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