Finishing college has a huge impact on future health. According to the CDC, college graduate who is currently 25 years old will live 60 additional years on average, as opposed to 48 years for a 25 year old who didn't finish high school (Figure 1) In any given year, a college graduate is less than half as likely to die than someone who never attended college.
Education impacts health in numerous ways, some obvious, others less so. The rate of cigarette smoking in college graduates is less than half that of high school graduates. College graduates have much higher incomes than high school graduates. Self-reported stress levels are lower in college graduates than those who didn't finish college. Exercise levels and fresh food consumption are both higher in college graduates. It is evident that education improves health through improvement of socioeconomic status and improved health habits.