What College Does to Marriage Prospects

nocollege

Bad things, apparently. Going college might enable you to earn more money, but it may prevent you from getting married.

I should have caught this one earlier but, according to a post by Erin Gloria Ryan at Gawker:

Attending college can significantly increase one’s lifetime earning potential. Unfortunately, if you’re poor and get yourself a fancy degree, you’ll be too highfalutin for your poor peers and smell too much of the servant caste to be accepted by your wealthy classmates. And you’ll never find love and die alone face down with your face in a New Yorker and your ringless hand in a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Er, to put it seriously:

Researchers followed 3,200 subjects from youth into adulthood and tracked their marital fates. They found that while college attendance significantly increases wealthy people’s chances of getting married (wealthy men who attend college are 31% more likely to marry than wealthy men who don’t; wealthy women up their chances by 8%), lower income students who attend college actually decrease their chances of getting married. Women from an economically disadvantaged background who decide to attend college decrease their chances of marrying by 22%; for poorer men, their odds drop 31%.

As Ryan points out, however, these lower marriage rates don’t necessarily indicate the formerly poor and now educated are actually less happy; the no marriage thing might be a rational choice.

Whether or not the formerly poors are happy with their spinster situation however, I wouldn’t worry that much about it.

Poor people who go to fancy colleges are pretty much an endangered species anyway. Now sexual selection is just accelerating the trend. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer