The objective of this study was to investigate associations between education in early life and cognitive impairment in later life in Colombia. Participants were community-dwelling adults aged 60 years or older from the National Study of Health, Wellbeing and Ageing. Trained interviewers administered a shorter version of the mini-mental state examination. Cognitive impairment was defined as the lowest tertile in the main analysis and as a score of 12 or less out of 19 in the sensitivity analysis. Logistic regression models were adjusted for education, other early life characteristics, and later life characteristics. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 17.93% in the main analysis (n = 16,505). Compared with participants with no education, the fully adjusted odds ratio for cognitive impairment was 0.57 (95% confidence interval: 0.52, 0.63) in those with some primary education and 0.29 (95% confidence interval: 0.25, 0.34) in those with some secondary education or more. The population attributable fraction for education suggests that at least 10% of cases of cognitive impairment would be eliminated if all children received an education. Similar results were observed in the sensitivity analysis (n = 20,174). This study suggests that education in early life markedly reduces the probability of cognitive impairment in late life in Colombia.