New Study Shows SCC's Major Impact on Graduates' Earning Potential, Regional Economy | SCC

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New Study Shows SCC's Major Impact on Graduates' Earning Potential, Regional Economy

Published on Feb 11, 2020

economic impactSomerset Community College (SCC) has a crucial impact on graduates' earning potential and the regional economy, according to a new research study.

The study by Emsi, a national provider of research to education institutions, shows that the average associate degree graduate from SCC will earn an additional $8,200 each year compared to someone with only a high school diploma. Furthermore, a recent study from the Council on Postsecondary Education showed associate degree graduates earn $422,000 more than a high school graduate over a lifetime.

"This study confirms what people in our communities tell me, SCC clearly is making a difference for the better," said SCC President Carey Castle. "Our students and graduates not only build better lives for themselves but contribute to the growth of all our service area and the Commonwealth. SCC is committed to the work we do and very proud to be such a strong contributor to our region's economy."

The Emsi study also shows SCC and its 565 employees added $148.9 million to the economy of the college's service area - which covers 14 counties in south central Kentucky and three counties in northern Tennessee - while supporting 2,760 jobs.

Other findings of the study show that one of every 60 jobs in the SCC service area is supported by the activities of the college and its students; that SCC alumni added $120.7 million to the local economy through the employers they work for; that SCC's spending on payroll and operations added $25.3 million to the economy; and that daily spending by SCC students boosted the economy by $2.6 million.

The results of the analysis reflect outcomes for fiscal year 2018-19. The study demonstrates that SCC and schools in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) create value from multiple perspectives. The colleges benefit local businesses and the state's economy by:

  • Increasing consumer spending in Southern Kentucky and supplying a steady flow of qualified, educated people into the workforce
  • Enriching the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their Better Lives
  • Benefitting state taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services
  • Benefitting communities in Southern Kentucky by creating a more prosperous economy
  • Generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students
  • To view the entire KCTCS study and see SCC results, visit the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website.

About the study

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on external data inputs which reflect the most current economic activity and data. These data include (but are not limited to): the taxpayer discount rate; the student discount rate; the consumer savings rate; the consumer price index; national health expenditures; state and local industry earnings as a percent of total industry earnings; income tax brackets and sales tax by state; and unemployment, migration and life tables. All data sets are maintained quarterly, although most update occur only once a year. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, visit the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website for a copy of the main report.