Washtenaw Community College’s economic impact on its surrounding communities continues to expand, contributing $524.1 million into the Washtenaw County economy last year.
A recent study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (Emsi) breaks WCC’s contributions to the county’s economy into three categories: alumni impact ($422.9 million), student spending impact ($16.2 million) and operations spending impact ($85 million) during fiscal year 2016-17.
“What we’re most proud of in this economic impact study are the college’s strong benefit-to-cost ratios,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca.
“Most people know a student who invests in completing a program at WCC will more than make that money back over a lifetime through higher annual salaries. But higher education is unique compared to other uses of government funds in that a well-run institution actually generates much more tax revenue than it receives from state and local taxpayers. The report shows that’s true at WCC by a more than 4-to-1 ratio.”
According to the report:
- For every $1 invested in WCC by taxpayers, the college returns $4.10 to government coffers;
- For every $1 invested in WCC by students, the college returns $7 in additional lifetime earnings;
- For every $1 invested in WCC by society, the college returns $16 in added state revenue and social savings.
The study shows the college’s economic impact is approximately 2.1% of the gross regional product (GRP) of Washtenaw County. By comparison, the contribution the college provides is slightly larger than the entire hotel and restaurant industry in the county.
The $524.1 million economic impact in 2016-17 represents a 40.3-percent increase over the $373.4 million impact the college made during fiscal year 2013-14, the last time Emsi was commissioned to conduct the study.
To view more information from the study, visit wccnet.edu/value.