A newly released economic impact survey, Demonstrating the Value of Miles Community College, documents the vital role Miles Community College (MCC) plays in the economic future of the students and the MCC service area, which includes 22 counties in southeastern Montana. The report concludes that Montana taxpayers see a 2.2 benefit-cost ratio, i.e., every $1 in costs returns $2.20 in benefits. The average annual return on investment for taxpayers is 5.4%. The overall effect of MCC on the service area’s economy during the analysis year amounted to $21.8 million. The analysis year reflects Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13.
The study finds meaningful economic impacts for students at Miles Community College. For every dollar a student invests in their education, they receive a cumulative $5.50 over their working careers. That equates to an average annual return for students of 22.2%. Compared to someone with a high school diploma, associate’s degree graduates earn $11,100 more per year, on average, over the course of a working lifetime. Additionally, the accumulated contribution of former students currently employed in the regional workforce amounted to $16 million in added income during the analysis year.
In this 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. “MCC creates a significant positive impact on the local business community and generates a return on investment to its major stakeholder groups – students, society, and taxpayers,” indicated EMSI. The study includes two major analyses – the Regional Economic Impact Analysis and the Investment Analysis.