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Live longer and other surprising benefits for parents of college grads

Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Want to live longer, send your kids to college. The surprising Fountain of Youth results are based on a study from the Rand Corporation and U.C.L.A. finding, “on average, they live two years longer than parents whose children didn’t graduate college [sic],” reported FoxCT.

The study
The Schooling of Offspring and the Survival of Parents study examined whether adult children’s educational achievements are associated with parents’ survival in the United States. “Taking into account parents' own education and income, sociologists Esther Friedman and Robert Mare said that the folks lived to an average of 71 years old if their children had a college degree, compared to 69 for the other group,” according to ABC News Radio.

The correlation of parents’ mortality and their child’s higher education is stronger regarding parent health behaviors such as smoking and exercise. The study’s Abstract noted, “well-educated offspring have greater knowledge of health and technology to share with their parents and more financial means to provide for them than do their less-educated counterparts.”

The benefits
There are many benefits students gain from earning a college degree. This study shows parents also get a huge and unexpected return on such an important investment. As parents prepare to shell out big bucks to contribute to pay the college bill, they may keep in mind their personal stake in their child’s higher education attainment:

  • Parents of college grads get an extra two years of life on average more than than parents whose children didn’t graduate from college.
  • The parent-adult child relationship provides a two way flow of information and money.
  • A strengthened family bond follows naturally when mothers, fathers and children work together to achieve a healthier lifestyle.