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What are the benefits of a college education for women? Are they different from the benefits men receive? Continuing Education for Adults - free pamphlets.

Benefits Of A College Education For Women

A college education offers many benefits to all people who enroll in a college or university. They include increased knowledge and awareness about themselves and the world around them, an enhanced sense of personal purpose and pride, and the important ability to enhance their earning power in a difficult business environment.

But women can especially benefit from a college education and research studies have provided some hard evidence to prove that point. But it is not easy, for a variety of reasons for women to get to college and to complete the college degree that will allow them to reap these benefits.

The barriers to women attending college include finances, social stigmatization, and family responsibilities. For many women it is difficult to ask their families to assist them in attending college or university, particularly is their family lives on a low income, or if there are other male siblings who share the goal of a college education. Unless a woman has a high academic standing or athletic prowess that will grant them a scholarship, they either choose not to attend, or are financially unable to afford it.

Despite the advancements in equality between the sexes there still exists a degree of social stigmatization that persists around women attending college or university. This is prevalent in some communities and within some cultural backgrounds. There is also some very real and perceived discrimination against women seeking a higher education that prevents many women from seeking that goal.

Family responsibilities also limit some women from attending college. These include having their own children at an early age, having to care for older or ailing relatives, or just being required to assist with the collective raising of their siblings. All of these factors make it difficult for some women to get a college education.

But for those women who can make it to college and earn a university degree, the future is as starkly bright and it is dark for the women who do not. Over half of African American women age 25 or older that head households and have exactly 12 years of schooling live below the poverty line. After only one year of postsecondary education, the percentage of those families living in poverty is cut by more than half, to 21 percent.

In the case of other minorities, about forty percent of families headed by Latinas with exactly twelve years of schooling live in poverty. The number drops to 18.5 percent with at least one year of postsecondary schooling. For white women, the percentage of those living in poverty drops from 22 percent to 13 percent with one year of higher education. Other statistics bear out the dramatic impact of a college education on women’s lives. For example an associate degree raises women's income by 65 percent over their earnings with a high school diploma.

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