Community College System Releases Economic Impact Study
Calhoun Provides Highest ROI of State’s Two-Year Colleges
The recently released “Economic Impact and Return on Investment Analysis: Alabama Community College System” report conducted by Dr. M. Keivan Devari, professor of Economics at Auburn University at Montgomery, indicates that the by Alabama Community College System (ACCS) is a major economic engine for the state.
According to the ACCS, the purpose of the report was to compute the economic impact of operations of the System and its member colleges and organizations on the economy of the State of Alabama and to estimate the return on the State’s investment (ROI) in the System. The methodology used to estimate the economic impact of the ACCS as an economic entity of the State’s economy was derived from a regional economic model.
Figures from the report indicate that the Total Economic Impact for the System is estimated to be just over $2.4 billion. The System’s ROI is estimated to be 7.0, meaning that for every dollar ($1) of state appropriations, the ACCS contributed $6 of additional goods and services to Alabama’s economy. Based on information contained in the report, detailed college level financial data and student enrollment information was gathered, covering fiscal years 2008-2010. Variables analyzed included employment, earnings, and final demand or output.
“In terms of raw numbers, the ACCS is a major employer and provider of jobs. In terms of economic development and industrial recruitment, it serves as a valuable economic partner to many localities and acts as a significant economic engine for the State,” Deravi stated.
Specifically, figures released for Calhoun Community College were quite impressive. According to the report, state appropriations to Calhoun averaged $23,060,021, while total local economic impact was $279,284,280, for an ROI of 12.1, the highest among all of the state’s two-year colleges. Calhoun has the largest enrollment of the state’s two-year colleges, however, it does not receive the highest state appropriation. The report noted that ROI estimates for the individual colleges varied from a low of 1.4 to Calhoun’s high of 12.1. Ninety-three percent of the System’s colleges had an ROI of 4.0 or higher.
“Calhoun continues to make a tremendously significant impact to the state of Alabama’s economy, and the information contained in this report demonstrates just how significant that impact truly is,” commented Calhoun President Dr. Marilyn Beck.