Economic Impact Study

2017 Economic Value of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) generates an array of benefits for its students, communities, and the service region of Manatee and Sarasota counties. A November 2017 report from Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) details the significant role the college plays in the local and regional economy. The report was commissioned by SCF officials who wanted an independent third-party expert’s assessment of the net impact the college makes on the area economy.

In addition to examining the impact of college and student spending, EMSI also looked at impacts created by the accumulated skills and higher productivity of SCF students in the workforce. Here are a few highlights from the 2017 Economic Value of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota report:

  • SCF added $432.4 million to the regional economy based on student productivity gains, college operations, and student spending.
  • Overall, SCF’s total impact supports 8,267 jobs in the region. The number of jobs supported by the added total SCF income was calculated by industry based jobs-to-sales ratios.
  • The added income generated by SCF is equal to approximately 1.5% of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) of Manatee and Sarasota counties. By comparison, the contribution that the college provides on its own is slightly larger than the entire regional Transportation & Warehousing industry.
  • The dollars taxpayers invest in SCF generate substantial positive returns. For every dollar of taxpayer support, the taxpayers see a cumulative return of $6.50 over the course of students' careers.
  • Students enjoy an attractive 16.6% average rate of return on their educational investment, recovering all costs (including tuition, fees, loan repayment and forgone wages) in 8.6 years. The remaining work years of a career that typically extends 35+ years all generate “bonus” earnings for the student.
  • Compare that to the historical average rate of return for the stock market of 10.1% and the interest earned on savings accounts which is averaging less than one percent at 0.8%. Investing in their own marketable skill development is among the best investments an individual can make.
  • The average associate degree completer from SCF will see an increase in earnings of $7,100 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Florida.
  • Over a working lifetime, this increase in earnings amounts to an undiscounted value of approximately $305,300 in higher earnings.
  • Manatee and Sarasota counties also benefit from improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment, and crime that accompany a more educated population.
  • 95 percent of SCF students remain in Florida and contribute to the state's economic growth.

SCF creates value from multiple perspectives. The college benefits local businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce. It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. It benefits state and local taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole in Florida by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.

The economic impact main report provides a look at the investment from the student, social, and taxpayer perspectives. It also provides an economic growth analysis that includes the effect of college operations, student spending, productivity and transfer. SCF financial, enrollment, and graduation data used for the analysis were from 2015-16 when SCF served 15,380 credit students and 3,725 non-credit students. Additionally, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of EMSI’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior are used in the analysis. The main report contains a full description of the data used and approach taken.

If you would like additional information about the Economic Impact Study, please contact Dr. Ryan C. Hale at or 941-408-1405.

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