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Study shows great return on investment at Edmonds CC


A recent study shows a great return on investment in education at Edmonds College — 22.5 percent for students and 8.8 percent for taxpayers.

Compared to someone with a high school diploma, associate’s degree graduates earn $12,700 more per year, on average, over the course of a working lifetime. For every dollar students invest in Edmonds CC education, they receive a cumulative of $6.70 in higher future income over their working careers. The payback is 6.7 years.

The Snohomish County economy annually receives roughly $54.1 million in income due to Edmonds CC operations.

The study, “The Economic Contributions of Edmonds College,” conducted by EMSI, Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., details the role that the college plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers, and improving quality of life.

Data sources for the study include, 2009-10 academic and financial reports from the college and from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, earnings and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior.

Other findings of the study include:
  • Edmonds CC alumni contribute $166.1 million in added regional income each year due to the higher earnings of students and increased output of businesses.
  • Together the college’s operations and its students contribute $229.6 million annually to the Snohomish County economy (approximately 0.9% of the total county economy).
  • The college saves the state of Washington about $2.5 million per year in benefits from improved health as well as reduced welfare, unemployment, and crime rates.

Overall, the study demonstrates that Edmonds College enriches the lives of students and increases their lifetime incomes. It benefits taxpayers by generating increased tax revenues from an enlarged economy and reducing the demand for taxpayer-supported social services. Finally, it contributes to the vitality of both the local and state economies.

A similar study conducted by EMSI for the state, quantifying the economic benefits of community and technical colleges and treating education funding as an investment, found similar results at colleges across the state.

Together, Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges and their former students add $11 billion annually to the state’s economy.

State community and technical colleges generate more than $100 million in added tax revenues annually, and for every state dollar invested in the colleges, $1.70 in tax revenues are returned to the state.

Washington community and technical colleges served 469,907 students in 2009-10 and the study found 91 percent of alumni stay in Washington to live, work, raise their families and give back to their communities. At the midpoint of their careers, graduates earn an average $49,000 annually—35 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.

The studies were conducted by EMSI using an economic impact model that has been field-tested in over 900 studies of colleges in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.


Edmonds College

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and governed by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, Edmonds College, a two-year public college in Lynnwood, Washington, is a leader in providing quality opportunities for learning and service, responding to the dynamic needs of our diverse community. Established in 1967, on 50 acres in Lynnwood, Wash., the site of a World War II era Army radio station, the college has longstanding construction, horticulture, paralegal, and parent education programs.

It has partnered with Central Washington University since 1975 to offer bachelor’s degrees locally. Opportunities for learning and service provided by the college include: 12 National Science Foundation grants, service-learning projects with 69 community partners, and more than 75 cultural events for the public each year. The college serves: 20,000 students each year including: 2,200 students (aged 18 to 82) annually in its adult literacy programs; 1,589 international students from 70 countries; and 5,000 students in online or hybrid classes. 81 percent of our students live within eight miles of campus.

Source: 2009-10 academic year data

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