For every dollar invested in the Florida College System (FCS), the state reaps a return that ranges from $10.80 to $15.42.
That’s according to a new report titled, “Independent Assessment of the Economic Impacts of the Florida College System,” released by Florida TaxWatch, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog organization.
The report, which was funded by Helios Education Foundation, seeks to quantify the return on investment into the state’s college system, the primary access point to undergraduate education for more than 800,000 Floridians, including approximately 63% of recent high school graduates and returning adult students. Nearly all (99%) FCS students come from within Florida.
“A great many of our university graduates started at a community college, myself included,” said Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, during an event at the Florida Capitol to announce the release of the report. “Florida’s college system has provided an opportunity for generations of Floridians to have a better life, and the return on the state’s taxpayers’ investment has been significant. In order to make Florida number 1 in the U.S. for workforce education, we must continue to invest in these worthy institutions.”
Among the report’s findings:
- The higher work life salaries earned by degree holders compared to high school completers translates to a return of $10.80 to $15.42 in increased Florida Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for every $1 invested and generates nearly 10,000 new jobs.
- Over a 10-year window, every $1 of state revenue appropriated to the colleges generated between $4.80 and $6.80 of additional Florida GDP and between $9.20 and $13.08 of additional Florida personal income
- For 2018 FCS program completers, there is an increased work life income expectancy ranging from $491,777 (Associate in Arts degree) to $838,023 (Bachelor’s degree) above Florida residents who have only completed high school.