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Northwest Community College Contributes $219 Million to Northwest Economy

A new economic impact study reveals that the northwest service region of Northwest Community College (NWCC) receives over $219 million annually from College operations & capital spending, regional income of past and present students, and out-of-area student spending. These findings are part of a government-sponsored study conducted for BC colleges by CCbenefits Inc., resulting in one of the largest analysis of its kind in BC covering 13 colleges and institutes located in more than 50 campuses throughout the province. The study tracks four types of benefits the College confers - Regional Economic Benefits; Student Perspective; Taxpayer Perspective; and Investment Analysis. In addition to the $219 million in income for the region, local and provincial taxpayer spending is also affected through reduced social costs of $10 per year for every credit earned by NWCC students, including savings associated with improved health, reduced crime, and fewer welfare and unemployment claims. This translates to $767,400 worth of social savings to the Province of British Columbia each year as long as students are in the workforce. From a provincial investment perspective the study concludes that NWCC provides a 16% rate of return, higher than the private sector rates of return on similar long-term investments. Additionally, for every dollar appropriated by the provincial government, taxpayers will see a cumulative return of $4.00 for every dollar of taxpayer financial support over the course of a students working career (in the form of higher tax receipts and avoided social costs). Students themselves receive a 16% annual rate of return on their NWCC educational investment, and recover all costs (including wage foregone while attending) in 9 years. The study also found that as many as 95% of students stay in the region initially after they leave college and contribute to the local economy. "A question in many peoples minds is the return on investment of colleges in British Columbia. Other than the obvious answer - a better educated populace, this study clearly demonstrates that NWCC is a sound investment from multiple perspectives," states NWCC President, Stephanie Forsyth. "Not only does the college provide valuable education and training to thousands of people a year, it also increases their lifetime incomes. The college also directly benefits the taxpayer though increased tax revenues from employed graduate incomes, reductions in the demand for social services and by making a significant contribution to the local and provincial workforce." The report can be found on the College web site.

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