Front Range Community College’s alumni, students, and college operations add $591 million to the Colorado economy, with significant returns on investments for students, taxpayers, and society alike, a recent study found.
“FRCC’s economic impact report confirms what I see every day – men and women in our community developing real world skills that lead to meaningful work and economic opportunity,” said President Andy Dorsey. “Whether they become a nurse, a welder, a future doctor or engineer, FRCC starts thousands of students each year on the path to supporting their families. Our practical, affordable education pays off – for both our students and our communities.”
FRCC joined with the Colorado Community College System to measure the economic value of FRCC and other system colleges. Emsi, an Idaho-based economic research firm, measured what FRCC adds to the economy. This is the amount of money or jobs that would be missing were there no FRCC.
These figures were determined based on the 2015-16 fiscal year. Among the findings:
- FRCC added $591 million to the Colorado economy. This is the impact on spending for operations and construction, student spending on everything from groceries to transportation to rent, and the impact of alumni who stay in the area – their increased spending and their contributions in the workplace. This $591 million total impact supports 9,647 jobs – not the jobs of the students, staff, and alumni, but other jobs in Colorado.
- Students will reap $4.50 in higher future earnings for every $1 they invest in their education at FRCC. The average rate of return for their investment is 15.4 percent. It’s not all about money, of course. Other studies have shown that the more education a person has, the happier and healthier they are.
- Taxpayers will reap $9.30 in benefits for every $1 they invest. This figure comes from the added tax revenue from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of businesses from a trained workforce. Emsi found that taxpayers invested $35.4 million for $313 million in added earnings and business output.
- Taxpayers also will save $16 million from reduced demand for government services. All other things being equal, the more education a person has, the less likely they will need government benefits or end up in prison – all draws on government-funded services.
- Taken together, the average rate of return for taxpayers from their investment and public-sector savings is 30.7 percent.
- Society will reap $15.90 in benefits for every dollar invested. This societal benefit derives from having an educated populace that over the course of the students’ and alumni’s working lives will grow the economy by $3.6 billion. Social savings of $54 million also will accrue from reduced crime, lower unemployment, and increased health and well-being.