Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maricopa community colleges add $7.3 billion annually to local economy

The Maricopa Community Colleges add $7.3 billion in various kinds of income to the Arizona economy each year, according to a research report released today. The report, Demonstrating the Economic Value of Maricopa County Community College District, summarizes economic impact and return on investment of the Maricopa district in fiscal year 2013-2014. The analysis was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), an organization that specializes in providing economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions.

Chandler-Gilbert Community is one of 10 community colleges and two skill centers in the Maricopa County Community College District.

Among the report’s findings, based on EMSI’s calculations:

  • The accumulated contribution of former students now employed in the regional workforce amounted to $7.3 billion in added income in 2013-14.
  • For every dollar contributed by taxpayers to the Maricopa Community Colleges, $4 in benefits is returned to taxpayers. Their average annual return on investment is 10.3%.
  • Society as a whole benefits from Maricopa both because of increased earnings and because of savings generated by the improved lifestyles of students who attend and graduate from college. For every dollar that society spent on the Maricopa Community Colleges during 2013-14, society will receive a cumulative value of $12.10 in benefits for as long as the 2013-14 student population at Maricopa remains active in the state workforce.
  • For every dollar that a student spends on a Maricopa Community College education, that student gets back $4.20 in higher future income. A student’s average annual return is 16.6%.
  • The spending of students who relocated to the region to attend college in Maricopa County added approximately $240.6 million in income to the economy during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Maricopa report was issued at the same time as Demonstrating the Economic Value of Arizona Community Colleges, EMSI’s study of the impact of community colleges located throughout Arizona on the statewide economy.

“This report confirms the fact that an education at the Maricopa Community Colleges is a great investment, both for students and taxpayers,” said Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Rufus Glasper. “ A $4.20 return on every dollar spent means students’ money is being spent wisely. From the taxpayers’ point of view, a 10.3% rate of return is better than they can get almost anywhere else.”

“What’s more, the $7.3 billion in income that the Maricopa Community Colleges and their students added to the local economy was about 3.8% of the Gross Regional Product,” Dr. Glasper continued. “It’s additional proof that taxpayer funding of the Maricopa Community Colleges is an investment that comes right back to the people of Maricopa County.”

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