Editor’s note: This is the second of two articles on results of a study commissioned by Barton Community College to define the value of the college in various areas. Today’s story contains highlights of the benefits from the perspective of businesses, and explores and the college’s overall investment to society. Content was provided by BCC.
To find the value of Barton Community College to its stakeholders, Barton’s Board of Trustees obtained the services of Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a company that specializes in providing such data for colleges. The study concluded that taxpayers who support BCC and students who attend the college get a good return on their investments. But the college is also a benefit to people who never set foot on campus.
The benefits to businesses in the Barton service area are numerous, but two stand out.
First, Barton’s training programs sustain a skilled workforce. Students with credentials typically earn more money than those without, which give businesses a larger potential audience with more disposable income. Skilled workers also improve profits at their place of employment via higher productivity. In fiscal year 2012-13, about $82.4 million in added income can be attributed to former Barton students working in the service area, according to the study.
Second, Barton’s payroll and expenses support area businesses. The college employed 789 full- and part-time employees in fiscal year 2012-13. The payroll was $19.4 million, and a majority of that is typically spent in the Barton service area. As a consumer of goods and services, the college spent $20.5 million to support operations throughout the year. This translates to a net impact of $11.7 million in added regional income to the Barton service area due to college payroll and expenses.
According to the study, Barton’s total impact on the service area was $94.1 million in added income during fiscal year 2012-13, which translates to 3.4 percent of the service area’s Gross Regional Product.
Return on investment to society
According to the study, the financial benefits to society as a whole outweigh taxpayer costs. State and local taxpayers supported Barton with $17.9 million. The return on that investment for society is a whopping $387.7 million in benefits, which is $21.50 for every dollar invested as long as the students who attended in 2012-13 remain in the Kansas workforce.
The primary factor contributing to this benefit is the increase in prosperity in Kansas via higher skills and better wages. Over the course of their lives, Barton students from the 2012-13 fiscal year will be responsible for $370.9 million in added income for the state of Kansas.
Another piece of the society puzzle is quality of life. The healthy behavior of a better-educated populace leads to $11.6 million in savings to students and society for medical treatments related to smoking, alcoholism, obesity, drug abuse and mental disorders.
In addition, students have the benefit of earning higher wages and holding better jobs. These factors generate $82,875 in unemployment savings and $2.2 million in law enforcement savings.
Complete details of the study can be found at economicstudy.bartonccc.edu.