Study: CFCC’s economic impact surpasses $580 million and provides return on investment for students, society and taxpayers

February 19th, 2015 by admin

According to the results of a new study just released, Cape Fear Community College generates over half a billion dollars in increased economic activity in the local area and provides a strong return on investment for taxpayers and the community as a whole.

CFCC’s study was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) and was part of a statewide effort to measure the economic benefits generated by the state’s community colleges. The study for CFCC measured the overall economic impact and the return on investment for students and taxpayers in New Hanover and Pender counties during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The study measured the economic impact by considering a variety of factors, including spending by students who relocated to the area to attend CFCC, college employees, alumni who remain in the area after graduation and college construction projects.

Of the $584.3 million generated overall by the college, alumni created the greatest impact – by generating $487.9 million in added income in the region.

“CFCC’s biggest impact results from the education and training it provides for local residents. Since the college was established, students have studied at CFCC and entered the workforce with new skills. Today, thousands of former students are employed in the CFCC service area,” according to the executive summary.

Findings from the study also concluded that the investment associated with CFCC provides solid returns for both individual students, taxpayers and society as a whole.

The study indicated that for every dollar that individual students invest in CFCC, they receive a cumulative return of $2.40 in higher future wages.

The total investment made by students to attend CFCC in 2012-13 in terms of tuition, fees, books and supplies was $178 million. In return for this investment, CFCC students will receive a “stream of higher future wages that will continue to grow through their working lives,” the study indicated.

In examining taxpayer investment, they study found that for every dollar invested in CFCC by taxpayers, $3.50 is returned in benefits.

“From the taxpayer perspective, benefits consist primarily of the taxes that state and local government will collect from the added income created in the state. As CFCC student earn more, they will make higher tax payments. Employers will also make higher tax payments as they increase their output,” the study revealed.

The study analyzed the benefits of the college’s operation on society as a whole in North Carolina and found that the state benefits in two major ways. The largest benefit that society receives is the added income created in the state by students who gain new and enhanced skills along with increased income generated by the businesses that hire the graduates.

“This study helps to affirm the role that CFCC plays to create a better quality of life for our region in terms of higher-paying jobs for local residents and a stronger economic climate for business and industry,” said CFCC Interim President Amanda Lee.

The study was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), which conducted studies for many other community colleges throughout the state. EMSI is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally. Since, 2000, EMSI has completed over 1,200 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries.

The executive summary of the entire report can be viewed here: