Putting Education Reform To The Test

Study Says Florida College System Has A $27 Billion Benefit

LaCrai Mitchell/StateImpact Florida

Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna says the 28-member system is an important economic development engine for the state.

The 28 institutions that make up the Florida College System (FCS) are doing some bragging.

“The Florida College System — which last year awarded almost 106,000 degrees and certificates – was built, in part, to bolster the economic foundation of our state,” said St. Johns River State College President Joe Pickens at a Capitol news conference.

He said a new study shows how well the system is living up to its mission.

The system’s Council of Presidents hired Economic Modeling Specialists International to conduct an economic impact study.

The findings show the Florida colleges pump nearly $27 billion a year into the state’s economy.

“They do this by producing well-educated graduates who are better prepared to become high-income earners,” Pickens said.

The vast majority of Florida College System grads stay in Florida to work.

“The fact that 93 percent of them stay and contribute to our economy – that’s the kind of investment we ought to be making,” said David Hart with the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Among the study’s findings:

  • 93 percent of FCS students remain in Florida and contribute to the state’s economic growth.
  • 88 percent of FCS graduates find a job or continue their education within one year of graduation.
  • 79 percent of students who receive a bachelor’s degree from a FCS institution find a job.
  • State government sees a rate of return of 9.4 percent on its investment in the Florida College System.
  • Students enjoy an attractive 16.8 percent average rate of return on their educational investment, recovering all costs in 9.1 years.

“Two-thirds of high school students who move on to post-secondary education start in the Florida College System,” said FCS Chancellor Randy Hanna.

Hanna said colleges also play a key role in offering programs in careers that have a shortage of skilled workers.

“In areas ranging from nursing, allied health and bio-medicine, to information technology, business, and the all-important STEM fields — the Florida College System meets those needs,” Hanna said.


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