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State and local taxpayers realize a 13.4% rate of return on funds invested in Piedmont Community College

Published Thursday, April 17, 2014
by Bonnie Davis

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Tags: pcc Piedmont Community College
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A recently completed study shows that Piedmont Community College (PCC) is a good investment for state and local taxpayers and for the College’s graduates. The study, Demonstrating the Value of Piedmont Community College, documents the vital role the College plays in the state and local economy and in the lives of PCC students.  

The report concludes that state and local taxpayers see a rate of return of 13.4% on their investment in the College. In addition, the report finds that every dollar of state and local tax money invested in the College today yields an accumulation of $34.20 in benefits that accrue to state and local residents as added income and avoided social costs in the future.

The study also reports substantial economic impacts for PCC. Students enjoy a substantial rate of return on their educational investment of 23.9%. Compared to someone with a high school diploma, Associate degree graduates earn $8,000 more per year, on average. Over the course of a working lifetime these higher earnings accumulate to a future (undiscounted) value of $248,000 of additional income.

“We are pleased that this report confirms the positive effect we have in North Carolina and in the College’s service area of Person and Caswell counties,” said Dr. Walter Bartlett, PCC President. “We work each day to move our students and region forward.”

Dr. Bartlett emphasized that there is an economic advantage of starting a four-year degree at PCC, “In addition to the fact that an Associate degree graduate earns $8,000 more than a high school graduate, the study also reports that a Bachelor’s degree graduate earns $11,000 more than an Associate degree graduate. As UNC tuitions are increasing, more and more students are turning to PCC for the first two years of their four-year degree to reduce educational expense substantially. PCC is a really good deal for the first two years.”

The report also speaks to the importance of the College’s role in the economic development of the region. “The additional income earned by PCC graduates is a reflection of their higher value in the local and area workforce as a direct result of knowledge and skills acquired at the College. This higher quality workforce pays dividends to current employers in our service area and helps attract prospective new employers. Our students are not the only beneficiaries,” said Dr. Bartlett.

Dr. Bartlett made reference to this study when the PCC Board of Trustees and the Person County Board of Commissioners held a joint meeting on April 7 to discuss the College’s local budget request. “As the state and counties struggle with growing financial pressures, there is clear concern that additional cuts to PCC could reduce the College’s ability to impact the state and local economies,” said Dr.Bartlett. “PCC plays a critical economic role now and for the future. We need the state and the two counties in our service area to remain committed to investing in the College.”

In the study, Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) applied a comprehensive model designed to quantify the economic benefits of community and technical colleges and translate these into common sense benefit/cost and investment terms. The study includes two major analyses – Regional Economic Impact Analysis and Investment Analysis.

The full text of the report as well as Fact Sheets summarizing the Taxpayer, Student and Social perspectives are available on the PCC website at: http://www.piedmontcc.edu/Community/AboutPCC/ResearchInstitutionalEffectiveness.aspx.