Seattle’s Community Colleges inject $1 billion into local economy, says Chancellor

Community Colleges of King County, which includes Seattle’s three community colleges and the Seattle Vocational Institute, contributes $1.1 billion to the local economy, according to a recent study. That comes out to a 7 percent return on investment for tax payers, or a cumulative return of $1.90 for every dollar invested, according to a blog post by district Chancellor Jill Wakefield:

The report was produced by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI), which calculated the economic impact based on the skills of graduates over 30 years; spending for college operations, including earnings of faculty and staff; and spending by students, including international students.  


The college district employs just over 1,900 faculty and staff. Approximately 97% of alumni remain in Washington and contribute to our state’s economic growth.

The study also found an even better return on investment for students paying tuition:

Students receive a 21.6% average rate of return on their educational investment.  The average annual income of the typical associate’s degree graduate in King County at the midpoint of his or her career is $60,600, which is 35% more than someone with a high school diploma.

Earnings of the district’s alumni expand the tax base by more than $158 million each year, based on their increased skills and reduced impact on social services related to higher education levels.

Students at Seattle Central held a rally April 12 protesting cuts in funding proposed by the state legislature, which is likely to result in higher tuition.

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3 thoughts on “Seattle’s Community Colleges inject $1 billion into local economy, says Chancellor

  1. Obama’s first mission as President was paying back the Wall Street bankers who got him in office with bailouts to the tune of more than $14 trillion dollars.

    Now, his party is teaming up with Republicans to make sure WE pay for that bail out with state budget cuts to EVERYTHING.

    So, college kiddies, proud of your support for Obama (brought to you by Citibank)? When he was talking about change, he meant that’s all your gonna have in your pockets when he’s done.

  2. “When he was talking about change, he meant that’s all your gonna have in your pockets when he’s done.”

    All the Tea Partiers are Republicans. You’re not offering up a better, less greedy alternative than Obama.