New National Gallup-Purdue report reveals it’s about what students do in college, not where they go

college-life-gallup-587 Forget U.S. News’ rankings, because where you go to college doesn’t affect your happiness later in life, says a groundbreaking report from Gallop and Purdue University.

Instead, what really contributes to people’s happiness and job engagement later in life is: 1) A professor who cared about them; 2) A professor who made them excited about learning 3) A professor who cared about their dreams; 4) An internship where they felt they applied what they learned in the classroom; 5) Active involvement in activities and organizations; and 6) Working on a project that took a semester or more to complete.

“You never see an institution’s mission statement that says ‘We help grads make more money than other institutions,’” said Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallop Education during National Education Week. “Instead, most missions emphasize that going to this particular institution will help prepare you for a meaningful career and overall better life.”

“And perhaps the most interesting finding from this report is that it doesn’t matter what type of institution you went to; it’s how the institution engages you. And the institutions that graduate the happiest and most invested workers are the ones that offer emotional support and meaningful activities,” he continued.

Relating these findings back to why anyone should care whether or not college graduates are happy in their careers and life overall [outside of feeling like paying a college tuition was worth it], Busteed noted separate Gallop research that has shown that when employees have good well-being, health-related costs decrease substantially.

“Measuring well-being may just be the way we save our country’s economy. Imagine taking the incredible healthcare costs burden on our economy and decreasing it substantially. That should be the missions of higher-ed institutions: ‘We help lower U.S. healthcare costs,” he said half-jokingly.

Surveying more than 30,000 U.S. graduates, the Gallop-Purdue Index Report found that only 3 percent of grads have what the Report calls the “six elements of the college experience [that] strongly relate to graduate’s lives and careers.”

(Next page: BLANK interesting findings)