AACC Study Highlights Economic ROI In Community Colleges

Career College Central summary:

  • A new report from the American Association of Community Colleges shows the impact public two-year colleges have on the national economy and their ROI by their key stakeholders — students, taxpayers and society. On a national scale, the net total impact of community colleges on the U.S. economy in 2012 alone was $809 billion in added income — that’s equal to 5.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. On an individual level, every $1 a student invests in his or her community college education yields, on average, a return on investment (ROI) of $3.80. For taxpayers, the ROI per $1 is even better: $6.80 over the course of students’ working lives.
  • Investing in community colleges also affects communities in other ways that usually don’t initially come to mind. For example, in addition to earning higher wages, students who complete a community college typically require fewer safety net services, experience better health and have lower rates of crime — all of which result in saving taxpayers some $19 billion over students’ careers, according to the study.
  • The study also examined the effect of international students who attend U.S. community colleges. These students typically pay full tuition and fees, in addition to paying for books, supplies and living expenses. In 2012, about 146,500 international students attended U.S. two-year colleges, representing about 1.2 percent of all community college students. They paid an estimated $1.2 billion to colleges in tuition, fees, books and supplies. Factoring in living expenses — food, housing and transportation — yielded another $1.2 billion.

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COMMUNITY COLLEGE DAILY

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