BRANCHBURG, NJ - Raritan Valley Community College has a significant, positive impact on the regional economy and benefits students by raising their lifetime earnings and quality of life according to the findings of The Economic Contributions of Raritan Valley Community College, an economic impact study commissioned by the college.
The study, conducted by Emsi of Moscow, Idaho, details the role RVCC plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers, and improving the quality of life for residents in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.
“The economic impact study confirms what we already knew: An investment in Raritan Valley Community College benefits all stakeholders—students, taxpayers, businesses and society as a whole. From supporting local business by increasing consuming spending and supplying highly qualified workers; to benefiting the state and local taxpayers through increased tax revenues and lower demands for government-supported social services; to providing students with an outstanding education, raising their lifetime earnings, and helping them reach their full potential, RVCC truly enriches the quality of life for everyone in Somerset and Hunterdon County,” said Michael J. McDonough, RVCC president
The study analyzes the impacts on the Somerset and Hunterdon Counties’ economies, measuring added income in the region due to College operations, construction activities, and expenditures of its students, as well as the accumulated skills of alumni in the workplace.
Highlights of the study include:
- In FY 2015-2016, RVCC and its students added $366.3 million in income to the Somerset and Hunterdon Counties’ economies, which is approximately .8% of the region’s total gross regional product.
- The Somerset and Hunterdon County economies received $38.7 million in income in FY 2015-16 from day-to-day RVCC operations.
- State and county governments provided approximately $24.8 million in support for RVCC during the analysis year. In return, taxpayers received an estimated $124.4 million in added tax revenue stemming from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of businesses.
- For every $1 of public funds invested in educating students at RVCC, taxpayers see a return of $5.30 over the course of the students’ working lives. This represents an annual rate of return of 11.8%.
- The accumulated income of former students employed in the regional workforce amounted to $322.5 million in added income to the economies of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.
For students, an RVCC education produces a lifetime of higher earnings. The study found that:
- The average student’s income increased by $3.80 for every $1 invested in his or her RVCC education.
- Students enjoy a 13.4% rate of return on their RVCC educational investment, recovering all costs in 10.5 years.
- The average salary for someone at the midpoint of his or her career in New Jersey with an Associate Degree is $58,800—$13,000 higher in earnings than someone with just a high school diploma.
- As RVCC students are educated, they are statistically more likely to develop improved lifestyle behaviors and good health habits. This leads to $17.1 million in savings for students and society as a whole in healthcare costs related to smoking, alcoholism, obesity, drug abuse, and mental disorders.
- Data sources for the study included the 2015-2016 academic and financial reports of the College, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior.
Emsi has been conducting economic impact studies since 2001 to help colleges communicate their economic contributions and value. The company has conducted more than 1,700 studies for over 700 colleges in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
For additional information, visit www.raritanval.edu/emsi.
Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road.