Thanks to television programs and movies, college tends to evoke images of partying, poor diets, substance abuse and last-minute cramming for exams – in other words, not the healthiest environment.However, a new study suggests that going to college may actually be good for you, and not just in terms of knowledge and learning.

Forget the freshman 15 for a moment.  Forget the irregular sleep schedules.

Researchers say that young adults who go to college – particularly women – have lower blood pressure than those who do not, the BBC News reported.

The results of a study conducted by Professor Eric Loucks at Brown University showed that, on average, women with low education (12 years or less) had a blood pressure 3.26 mmHg higher than those with a high level of education (17 years or more).  For men, education discrepancies indicated a 2.26 mmHg difference in blood pressure.

Hypertension, of course, is linked with increased risks of heart attack and kidney failure.

Researchers speculated that the results could possibly be due to better opportunities that college graduates have over high school graduates.

“Low educational attainment has been demonstrated to predispose individuals to high strain jobs, characterised by high levels of demand and low levels of control, which have been associated with elevated blood pressure,” Loucks wrote.

The study was published in BMC Health.

Click here to read more from BBC News.