Community College’s $6.5 Billion Impact on Ohio


Study quantifies how community colleges in Ohio are working to promote economic development, enhance student careers and foster an improved quality of life statewide for all Ohio residents.

COLUMBUS – Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – Recognizing the vital role community colleges have in the state’s economic future, the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) commissioned a comprehensive study to determine the full impact its 23 member institutions have on Ohio. To that end, the study found that Ohio’s community colleges and their graduates generate $6.5 billion for Ohio in added revenues annually, a figure equal to 1.6 percent of the state’s overall economy.

“This report validates what many in the state have known for some time, that investing in higher education, such as community colleges, offers many benefits for students, employers and taxpayers,” said Dr. Ronald Abrams, OACC President. “The return on investment highlighted in this study demonstrates that Ohio’s community colleges are an essential economic engine for the state.”

The report, The Economic Contributions of Ohio’s Community Colleges, which was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialist, Inc. (EMSI), found that across the board students, employers and taxpayers see a substantial return on their investment. In fact, the study found that for every dollar a student invests in their education at a community college, they earn on average $5.30 in higher future income, resulting in approximately $11,200 more a year throughout their working careers when compared to an individual with no advanced degree.

For employers and taxpayers, the news is just as good. The study found that for every dollar of state and local tax money invested, there is a return of nearly $24. The report also determined that because college graduates are less likely to require social services, such as welfare, there is a realized social savings of more than $42 million annually. The benefit for employers is that as students expand the state’s economic base through their higher incomes, businesses that employ them become more productive through the student’s added skills. Combined, these benefits contribute to an estimated $951.3 million growth in taxable income to the Ohio economy each year.

“As state leaders continue their work to revitalize our economy, this report is a testament to the fact that Ohio’s community colleges are critical to those efforts,” said Dr. Abrams. “Not only are our institutions proving to be exceptional stewards of taxpayer dollars, but they are also working to train and educate the workforce needed for Ohio to be competitive in the emerging economy.”

To read the executive summary and full report, click here.

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Contact: Matt McClellan
(614) 221-OACC (6222)