Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Popularity pays off

My parents always told me to study hard so I would make more money. Turns out they should have encouraged me to party more. (And perhaps discouraged me from becoming a newspaper reporter.)

A new economics paper reports that people who were popular in high school earn 2 percent more money 35 years later. The report’s authors theorized that a student’s popularity is “a measure of his skill in building positive personal and social relationships and adjusting to the demands of a social situation.”

The study uses data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study which followed Wisconsin students of the class of 1957 for decades after they graduated.

So what do you think? Were you a nerd in school or part of the in-crowd? And how has that translated to your success now?