The speaker at my son’s graduation, Michael Tubbs, delivered a fantastic address full of meaningful and actionable advice. One message in particular stuck with me: “College doesn’t make you a better person, but it does make you more prepared to deal with the challenges you’ll face in the future.”

A recent study shows he may be wrong about that: College graduates do seem to be better people, when measured across a range of civic attributes. The report, Education for What, by the Lumina Foundation and Gallup, found that higher education confers a range of benefits, both economic and noneconomic. In fact, “out of 52 economic and noneconomic outcomes tested in the study … educational attainment has a meaningful statistical relationship with 50 of them.” The study found these positive relationships to be similar for people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The study focused on multiple areas from work and income to cognitive ability, health and wellbeing, civic participation, social capital and more. What did they find?

Not only do college graduates earn more, participate in the labor force at higher rates, they’re more likely to do work that fits their natural interests, to own a business and to be satisfied with their job. But that’s not all: those with degrees are more likely to be involved in their communities: they volunteer, donate to charity, participate in organized religion and service or civic organizations and vote at higher rates than those without degrees.

You also want educated neighbors. Those with degrees not only talk with their neighbors more regularly, they are also more likely to help them out and to trust them.

Education also improves health outcomes, with degree holders reporting lower rates of chronic health conditions and less health problems that prevent them from doing things they want to do.

Here’s the great news: these benefits are not limited to adults who attended highly selective or expensive colleges. Research has consistently shown that the benefits of college– economic and noneconomic– are available to college graduates across the board. Whether you’re starting on the college application process this fall or deciding whether to open a 529 for your newborn, remember that there are lots of good reasons beyond jobs why you want your child to go to college.