College-educated individuals contribute both directly and indirectly to their communities and our country in countless ways. Just like how the value of residential properties increases in neighborhoods with highly-rated public school systems, communities that are home to college graduates also benefit from having residents that value and pursue education beyond the high school diploma.
Increased Tax Contributions Over a Year
In 2016, according to CollegeBoard, college graduates contributed 91 percent more to tax revenues than employees with only a high school diploma. This significant difference in just one-year’s contributions demonstrates how a college degree adds value to not only the college graduate and his/her family, but also their neighborhood, their city, their state, and our government. In turn, those tax dollars are used to fund unique programs that enhance, support, and improve the lives of others, our physical environment, and future generations.
Increased Tax Revenues Over a Lifetime
According to a report published in 2015 by the Lumina Foundation, the tax contributions from college-educated individuals is nearly three times the amount of what high school graduates contribute. The study found that, over a lifetime, college graduates contribute nearly $330,000 in tax contributions compared to around $136,000 high school graduates contribute. Higher paying positions are synonymous with advanced formal schooling beyond the high school diploma; those higher incomes then lead to increased tax revenues that support local, state, and federal governments.
Increased Charitable Donations Over a Year
The Lumina Foundation’s study further found that college graduates go beyond what they are required to contribute to their world via their taxes by making the purposeful decision to contribute also to charities. In 2012, for example, college graduates, on average, each donated $1,304 to charities while high school graduates that same year donated $385 each. Of course, it is harder to donate, tithe, and generously give money to others when it’s barely enough for yourself. Since college graduate employees earn more than employees with no formal education beyond their high school diploma, it just naturally makes it more viable to be able to share a portion of those extra dollars with local, national, and international charities.
Communities that attract higher-income-earning college graduates are those neighborhoods with better public school systems for their children or the children of their neighbors. Homebuyers who move into these neighborhoods value education – their own and the education of future generations. The countless benefits of investing in yourself and choosing to earn a college degree – even one class at a time — are truly profound and life-enhancing for you, your family, your community, and our world.