Increase college graduation rates, improve society
August 4, 2016
OPINION by ANDREA DEVITT
As the 2016-2017 academic year draws near, it’s important to remember what our colleges and universities do for our local communities.
Most of us know that people who earn a college degree are likely to earn more money than people who have not completed college. However, the benefits to our communities and to society as a whole extend far beyond the individual worker.
Since college graduates generally make more money, they pay higher income taxes which help support our local, state and national economies. Furthermore, there is a greater chance degree recipients have full-time jobs that provide retirement benefits and health insurance.
College graduates are also less likely to be incarcerated; for every four high school graduates who are imprisoned, only one college graduate is imprisoned. It costs California taxpayers over $47,000 per year to house one inmate; it’s much less expensive to educate a person and the benefits of an education are exponential.
College graduates are more likely to vote. College graduates are more likely to volunteer. College graduate are more likely to be involved in their children’s education. Together, we can increase our college graduation rates.
Andrea Devitt is an academic counselor at Cuesta College. She earned a bachelors degree in history from Loyola-Marymount University, a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public policy from Cal Poly SLO. She was born and raised in San Luis Obispo.