Church-going teens graduate and attend college more, BYU study shows
"This is important because it confirms that the immediate returns youth garner from religious participation, in terms of increased time on homework, reductions in truancy behavior, better grades, etc., persist to eventual educational attainment.
"The implication is that religious involvement during adolescence has long-term effects on a range of life outcomes that result from educational attainment, such as socioeconomic well-being and health," the study said.
"In high school we have compulsory education; whether someone is really goal-oriented or if they are not, they are still likely to go to school. But those who go to church will be able to navigate high school and all," Erickson said. "In college, it's not mandatory; prayer may be a sign of conviction. Then it would make more sense that it has more impact in college enrollment."