The Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees this week heard the results of an economic impact study on the college. Susan Hackett, a consultant with EMSI, a labor market analysis firm, said a look at 2016 and 2017 data for southwest Michigan showed LMC resulted in added regional income of more than $170 million when you consider the higher earnings for graduates, ripple effects, and direct employees. Hacket told WSJM News there are also the “social savings” of having a college.
“For example, students demanding fewer healthcare services,” Hackett said. “We have crime-related savings because people who are more education are a little less likely to be incarcerated or to need law enforcement services or security service. Then the other is welfare and unemployment savings, and more of the obvious one.”
In other words, college graduates are less likely to need welfare programs. Also, college grads tend to pay more in taxes. Hackett said for every dollar taxpayers invest in LMC, they get about $3.10 in benefits. She told us that’s in line with what her firm finds for most colleges, especially when their graduates tend to stay in the area.