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PPCC Generates $380 Million in 2016, Colo Community Colleges Generate Nearly $6 Billion

Nov. 3, 2017 – Colorado Springs – A third-party analysis of the economic impact of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) reveals that Pikes Peak Community College contributed $380 million in added income to the region in fiscal year 2015-16, equal to about 1.2% of the GRP.

Statewide, colleges in the system contributed $5.8 billion, or about 2% of the GSP of Colorado.

“As the primary source of higher education for Colorado residents, our colleges create value in many ways,” said Dr. Nancy McCallin, CCCS president. “We are also employers and buyers of goods and services, and the living expenses of our students and employees benefit local businesses.”

The study was conducted by Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally.

“Our investigation discovered benefits created by CCCS colleges that extended to the state and local government through increased tax revenues and public sector savings, as well as, positive return-on-investments to students, taxpayers, and society,” said Hannah Ruffridge, Emsi assistant director.

The following are additional highlights from the report:

  • For every $1 spent on education, PPCC students get $3.60 in future earnings.
  • For every $1 of public money spent on PPCC, taxpayers get a return of $8.30.

You can find more info about the regional impact here:

You can find out more about the state impact here: along with links to separate reports for each Community College in the System that correlate to the specific region.

PPCC, more than any other single entity, serves as the engine that powers the regional workforce, and that engine is clearly moving into high gear.

The usual model for community colleges prescribes that downturns in enrollment happen during upturns in the economy. PPCC is now defying that model, thriving in a time when our business community enjoys continued growth and record employment rates.

After four years of declining enrollment, the college turned the corner this fall with a growth of 3% in FTEs.

After being near the bottom of Colorado community colleges in retention in 2010 (with a rate of 47.3%), PPCC has climbed near the top with 52.6% retention rate.

But our greatest measure of success has come in record graduation rates, with 3,711 degrees and certificates, nearly 1,000 more than last year.

The business community has started to recognize how essential PPCC’s role is in continued economic growth. That’s why we’re seeing them contribute to the college’s foundation in record amounts (over $1 million a year), creating more opportunities for students and powering that economic engine like never before.

This new economic impact report underscores PPCC’s role, and those of our sister colleges, in the wealth of our community.

About PPCC
Established in 1968 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, PPCC offers associate degrees and certifications in career and technical fields. With three campuses, two learning centers and two military education centers, PPCC provides access to a quality, affordable and flexible education to over 19,000 students annually.