Logo for Coastline Community College via Wikimedia Commons.
Logo for Coastline Community College via Wikimedia Commons.

The Coast Community College District provides returns on investments from students and taxpayers that beat Wall Street, according to a report commissioned and released Monday by the Costa Mesa-based district.

The report, which analyzes data from fiscal year 2013-14, showed that spending from the district’s students and alumni generated $2.2 billion in gross regional product to the county’s economy. That’s equal to about 1.1 percent of the total gross regional product of the county, “and is equivalent to creating 30,860 new jobs,” according to the report.

The district — which includes Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa — spent $179.5 million on salary and benefits for 2,304 full- and part-time workers in FY 2013-14, according to the report. The district also spent an additional $124.5 million on goods and services for operations.

That spending has “multiplier effects,” which include money spent by workers and students in the local economy, according to the study.

About 37 percent of the district’s students commuted from outside Orange County, and some relocated to the area to take classes. A portion of the student population would have ended up elsewhere if they did not attend colleges locally, the study found.

“The expenditures of relocated and retained students in the county during the analysis year added approximately $313.3 million in (gross regional product) for the Orange County economy, which is equivalent to creating 4,532 new jobs,” according to the report.

The report also accounted for alumni who gained jobs locally, which amounted to $1.6 billion in GRP to the local economy, which is like generating 23,238 new jobs, according to the report.

The district’s schools are a solid investment for its students, according to the report. The students in the district collectively shelled out an estimated $62.7 million to cover tuition, fees, books and supplies in the fiscal year analyzed.

The students would have missed out on an estimated $377.8 million in wages if they had taken on full-time work instead of opting for more education.

“In return, students will receive a present value of $1.4 billion in increased earnings over their working lives,” according to the report. “This translated to a return of $3.30 in higher future income for every $1 that students pay for their education at (the district’s schools). The correspondent annual rate of return is 13.3 percent.”

Taxpayers got a good deal, too, the report concluded. Taxpayers chipped in $222.4 million for state and local funding of the district in the year analyzed. And, in return, they got an estimated value of $828.5 million in more tax revenue from higher wages and increased output from local businesses, the report showed.

The analysts subtracted an estimated $43.8 million in costs for government-funded social services as a result of the additional education.

“For every tax dollar spent on educating students attending college (in the district), taxpayers will receive an average of $3.90 in return over the course of the students’ working lives,” according to the report. “In other words, taxpayers enjoy an annual rate of return of 14.5 percent.”

As for the state, for every dollar invested in the district, an average of $14.50 in benefits goes to California during the students’ careers, according to the report.

— Wire reports 

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