March 30, 2009 — An in-depth economic impact study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists INC.(EMSI) revealed that Parkland College, in addition to providing educational opportunities for the region, contributes $5.3 million annually in added income to the Parkland College service area as a result of its operational spending.
EMSI is an economics firm located in Moscow, Idaho that specializes in the production of socioeconomic impact studies for assessment and planning purposes and has produced studies for nearly 900 Colleges in Canada, U.S., U.K., and Australia to date.
The study revealed that Parkland College’s past and present students who are still active in the workforce generated $24.7 million in added regional income, due to the higher earnings of students and the increased output of business. Parkland College itself recorded spending an estimated $6.7 million in the region for the purchase of supplies and services.
Studies demonstrate that education increases lifetime earnings. The average annual earnings of a student with a one-year certificate are 35% higher than those of someone without a high school diploma, and 13% higher than the earnings of a student with a high school diploma. The average earnings of someone with a two-year diploma are 55% higher than those of someone without a high school diploma, and 30% higher than the earnings of a student with a high school diploma.
Students enjoy an attractive 17% rate of return on their Parkland educational investment and recover all costs (including wages given up while attending classes instead of working) in only 8 years. The average annual earnings of a typical two-year diploma graduate from Parkland at the midpoint of his or her career is 30% higher than the earnings of someone with a high school diploma.
Provincial and local government taxpayers will receive a rate of return of 15% on their investments in Parkland. This means that Parkland College returns more to taxpayers than it costs. The College not only pays for itself but also provides a surplus that supports other government programs.
The study concludes by stating Parkland College “contributes to the vitality of both the local and provincial economies.” The results of the study demonstrate that Parkland College is a sound investment from multiple perspectives. The College enriches the lives of students and increases their lifetime incomes as well as it benefits taxpayers by generating increased tax revenues from an enlarged economy and reducing the demand for tax-payer-supported social services.