College offers many important benefits, including access to knowledge and skills, greater exposure to different cultures, increased job opportunities and the probability of increased income. A college education offers experiences and benefits that affect students for the rest of their lives.
One of the most immediate benefits of college is the knowledge it bestows. Students gain an introductory level of knowledge on a range of subjects and advanced knowledge in the subject of their major. This kind of learning gives students both specific knowledge and more general skills as well. College students learn to think critically and abstractly, to formulate and defend arguments, to communicate effectively through speech and writing, and to manage a variety of tasks and responsibilities. All these skills apply to many of the challenges that come after college.
A college education also offers students the opportunity to meet others from diverse backgrounds. For many students, college is an opportunity to interact with individuals of different religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds. Exposure to this diversity helps students become more tolerant and capable of operating in diverse environments.
College also offers financial and occupational benefits. College graduates have more job opportunities, as many skilled positions increasingly require a college degree. Those with a college degree also statistically earn far more income than those without one.