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Study Shows DC3 Adds Millions to Local Economy

Published January 18, 2024

According to an economic impact study commissioned by the Kansas Association of Community Colleges (KACC) released in December 2023, Dodge City Community College (DC3) added a total income of $95.9 million to its nine-county service area during the fiscal year of 2021-22.

This figure, which is equivalent to 2.4% of the region’s total gross regional product, is determined by adding the college’s operations spending impact of $14.6 million, its student spending impact of $2.6 million, and its alumni impact of $78.7 million.

According to the report, which was conducted by a nationally known economic firm called Lightcast, the operations spending impact is determined by the number of regional residents who are employed at DC3 and the large scale of goods and services the college purchases each year. The student spending impact is determined by the amount of money students spend each year on groceries, accommodation, transportation, and household expenses. And the alumni impact is determined by measuring the added income generated in the college’s service area by DC3 alumni each year.

“DC3 and its students supported 1,814 jobs, which equates to one out of every 22 jobs in its service area,” Joe Baumann, DC3 Executive Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, said.

Baumann said the report also shows that students and taxpayers are both seeing a favorable return on their investments.

“For every dollar spent, students will receive $6.60 in higher future earnings, which corresponds to an annual rate of return of 22.7%,” Baumann said. “Taxpayers can also expect a positive return from their investment in DC3, gaining $1.50 in added tax revenue and public sector savings for every dollar spent.”

Baumann said that for every dollar invested in the college, the State of Kansas can expect to receive $4.80 in tax revenue because students will be earning higher wages and will be contributing more in taxes. In addition, the state also will receive more public and private sector savings.

Furthermore, the study shows that the college provides two major benefits for Kansas society as a whole, which are additional income sources and reduced demand for government-supported social services. And added together, these two benefits total $216.1 million.

According to the study, “These benefits include $161.4 million in added student income, $35.5 million in added business income, $15.2 million in added income from college activities, as well as $3.9 million in social savings related to health, the justice system, and income assistance in Kansas.”

DC3 President, Dr. Harold Nolte, said the results of the study are encouraging because it shows that the college is providing a good return on investment for both students and taxpayers.

“At DC3, one of our goals is to provide a quality education at an affordable price. Along with that, we strive to offer up-to-date programs that will help fill crucial gaps in our area workforce and also give our transfer students the classes they need to succeed at four-year colleges,” he said. “This study shows we are on the right track as an institution. It shows we are adding value to the lives of our students and to the people of this region.”

By Lance Ziesch
DC3 Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations