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.