Report Reveals Ivy Tech Community College’s Economic Impact

Report Reveals Ivy Tech Community College’s Economic Impact

Independent Study Shows a High Rate of Return for Students and Indiana Taxpayers and Substantial Social Cost Avoidance


INDIANAPOLIS – It’s well known that Ivy Tech Community College is a significant contributor to the Indiana economy. Now, a newly-released study provides insight into the specific value of Ivy Tech’s contributions to its various stakeholders and to the state as a whole.  Also, for the first time, social cost avoidance numbers as a result of Ivy Tech’s work have been determined.


The 2011 Ivy Tech Community College Economic Impact Report, compiled by an independent research firm, includes the following findings:


  • Ivy Tech’s aggregate net impact on Indiana’s economic growth exceeds $241 million.
  • The avoided social costs associated with Ivy Tech, including health, crime and welfare/unemployment, are nearly $22.6 million.
  • Ivy Tech is one of Indiana’s leading employers, with a total of $229 million in annual payroll.
  • Ivy Tech students receive a cumulative return of $5.10 in higher future income for every $1 they invest in their education.
  • Ivy Tech students earn average returns of 16% on the investments they make in their education, including both time and money.
  • The aggregate added career-midpoint income of Ivy Tech students who stay in Indiana is nearly $415 million.
  • It is estimated that 97% of Ivy Tech students stay in Indiana and use their education to help grow our state’s economy.
  • Ivy Tech generates $42.9 million in added tax revenues and reduced government expenditures.
  • In 2010-11, former Ivy Tech students had a cumulative impact of $1.6 billion in added income in Indiana, due to higher earnings and the increased output of their employers.
  • These total benefits result in a 33.0 benefit-to-cost ratio to Indiana’s economy.
  • Ivy Tech provides a rate of return of 10.6% and a benefit/cost ratio of 3.2 to Indiana taxpayers.
  • Altogether, Ivy Tech’s cumulative economic impact is $8.2 billion in annual total benefits.

Another example of the economic impact of Ivy Tech is the affordable cost of tuition for Hoosiers.

“The value of a postsecondary education is well documented.  At the same time, for most families, a college degree is the largest purchase they will ever make.  However, many Americans can no longer afford a 4-year residential experience for college.  The average cost of in-state tuition, fees, room and board at a four-year public college is about $69,000 over 4 years, while the average American family only makes about $50,000 a year.  Even if a family received a full Pell grant, they would have to save or borrow $46,000 to pay for such a degree.  These numbers place a 4-year residential higher education out of reach for too many Americans,” Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said.  “It is important that we continue to help students and their families understand that they can significantly reduce the cost of a postsecondary education by starting their path to a bachelor degree in community college.  The average community college costs about $3,000 a year in tuition and fees while the average public 4-year costs around $8,000.  This means the average student would save $10,000 by starting at a community college for the first 2 years of their degree.”

Given Ivy Tech’s position as Indiana’s largest college, the cumulative return on students’ investments is considerable. During the 2010-11 academic year, Ivy Tech served 174,762 credit students and 22,580 non-credit students. More than 10,000 credentials were awarded to 2010-11 graduates, including almost 8,000 associate degrees.  According to data in the economic impact study, Indiana workers with an associate degree earn almost $11,000 more per year at their career midpoint than those with just a high school diploma, and they earn more than twice that of those with less than a high school diploma.


Snyder added that one of the most vital numbers in the study is the return on investment provided to Ivy Tech students, given the College’s focus on student success.


“In today’s job market,” Snyder says, “a college degree is more important than ever, and it pays much higher dividends than just about any other investment. Compared to the 1% average return offered by a standard bank savings account, the 16% return that our students receive is very impressive.”


Ivy Tech’s impact goes well beyond the benefits students derive from their education. When the College’s students enter the workforce, for example, they bring with them valuable skills acquired through their education, resulting in increased productivity for their employers. All told, Ivy Tech’s cumulative economic impact is $8.2 billion in annual total.


“As Indiana’s community college, we have the capability to serve as a catalyst for the state’s economic growth,” Snyder said. “As this study demonstrates, we’re living up to the promise of our vision statement, Changing Lives and Making Indiana Great, while providing taxpayers with a phenomenal return on their investment in Ivy Tech.”


Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


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