SCF's Strong Return on Investment

Education

BY CAROL PROBSTFELD SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY DEC 16, 2017

As the community’s college it is important that the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota is considered a smart financial choice for our students and a value to taxpayers. We are not educating strangers—our students are our friends and neighbors. Our graduates’ success makes our community and local economy stronger. I am proud of the role SCF plays as an economic driver for our region.

SCF recently participated in an economic impact study with Emsi, an economic modeling specialist, to measure the college’s return on investment in the 2015-16 fiscal year. The study measured how our college affects the regional economy and compares costs and benefits to determine the ROI for students and taxpayers.

The results of the study demonstrate that the college is a major economic contributor in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. SCF is delivering a significant ROI for its students’ investment in a higher education and the taxpayer’s contribution to delivering higher education in the community.

One of the priorities of SCF’s 2015-2020 Boldly Engaging Strategic Plan was to establish the college’s central role in its service area by increasing the region’s selection of SCF as an investment of choice based on its demonstrated strong return on investment. The results of the Emsi study demonstrate that SCF is indeed providing both strong economic impact and ROI for our community.

The key outcomes for the study are that SCF:

  • Enriches the lives of students through education;
  • Increases student’s lifetime earnings with certifications and Associate and Workforce
  • Baccalaureate degrees;
  • Generates more tax dollars than it takes in from state and local funding;
  • Reduces the demand for social services;
  • Performs better than the stock market for students and taxpayers;
  • Makes positive contributions to the regional economy – retains and creates wealth.

SCF’s total economic impact is $432.4 million annually, according to the Emsi study. This includes the operational spending of the college itself and the impact of students and alumni living in the two-county region. The impact from the college is slightly larger than the entire
transportation and warehousing industry in the region.

SCF plays a critical role in the workforce development of the region. The educational opportunities the college provides allow residents to acquire and advance their skills while remaining in the community. College employees, students and alumni spend their wages locally,
creating reinvestment in the regional economy and supporting our businesses. SCF spends $34.3 million to support its day-to-day operations and another $35.1 million in payroll, much of which
returns to the local economy for groceries, clothing and other household goods and services.

While college costs have skyrocketed around the nation, SCF has remained a low cost educational option producing high wage opportunities. This has contributed to a 16.6-percent average annual return for our students. For perspective, the stock market’s 30-year average annual return is 10.1 percent.

Taxpayers receive a benefit of $6.50 for every dollar invested in higher education and a 18.9 percent rate of return—earning $200.4 million in future tax revenue and government savings for an investment of $30.6 million in the study year.

Dollars alone do not capture the true value of the college to our community, but this economic impact study does indicate just how strongly SCF supports Manatee and Sarasota counties. Appropriate funding for the college creates high-value educational opportunities for our students keeping them in the region as employees, consumers and taxpayers. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that the college provides a strong and impactful return for every dollar received.

SCF is a smart choice for investment.

Carol Probstfeld is president of State College of FLorida, Manatee-Sarasota.

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