Can A College Degree Increase Your Chances Of Getting Married?

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bridge and groom making a toast
Women with college educations have more marriage staying power, according to a new study.

Good news for the educated women of the world — that so-called "marriage gap" has finally closed.

If you're scratching your head at this, allow me to explain. Back in the 1950s, white women who were college-educated were 15 percent less likely to marry by 40 than their high-school graduate peers. So, essentially, while some were off fetching degrees and the promise of a better future, others were focusing on husband-hunting and saying, "I do."

But, after years of gradual shrinking, that gap has finally closed, according to a new study from sociologists at NYU (conducted on women of all races, thankfully). In fact, those of us with fancy college degrees apparently have more marriage staying power (meaning fewer divorces or untimely husband deaths) — 75 percent of college-educated women today are married by age 40, as opposed to 70 percent of high school graduates and 60 percent of high school dropouts.

Cue the celebration! Obviously my $40,000-a-year degree was worth it if this is what I have to look forward to.

The closing of the gap has to do with a shift in what women deem the "purpose" of marriage to be, according to researchers. It's more of an option now than a requirement, especially since we're more accepting of doing "marriage things" (like have sex, live together and birth babies) out of wedlock. Plus, educated couples now wish to feel comfortable financially before walking down the aisle; less-educated pairings might not have the financial stability to get hitched.

So, as one author put it, "Education is becoming more of a stepping-stone to marriage than a barrier to it." Of course, in my mid-twenties, I'm still single and many of the girls I went to high school with are saying, "I do." But it's not a race — right?

Do you think a "marriage gap" still exists?

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