Economic Contribution of Colorado Community Colleges

May 9, 2012 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Yesterday, Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System, unveiled the results of a recent economic impact study conducted by EMSI. Here are the big highlights from the study:

  • The system, composed of 13 colleges, has a $3 billion impact — each year.

  • Students see a 11% annual return on their investment.

  • Taxpayers receive a $1.70 return for every dollar spent.

Here is an excerpt that mentions the key results:

The results show that the community college system serves 162,000 students statewide. If you look at the value of what they produce after leaving school and the increased output of businesses due to a highly-trained workforce, the impact every year is more than $3.01 billion, according to the study.

“To put that in perspective, that would be equal to creating almost 56,000 jobs at today’s average annual salaries,” McCallin said.

The study shows that out of the $107 million allocated to community colleges by the state, taxpayers get a return of about $1.70 for every dollar spent.

The Denver Post also wrote about the study. Here is an excerpt:

McCallin said the $3 billion figure may be conservative because the impact of students who transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions wasn’t included. That was also true of students who don’t get degree credits for the classes they take at the schools.

If you would like to learn more about these studies, please contact us. Find out more about EMSI and our data here. You can reach us via Twitter @DesktopEcon or by emailing Rob Sentz (rob@economicmodeling.com).