Jan 22, 2020

Versailles, Ky. – A new study by Emsi, a national provider of research to educational institutions, shows the average associate degree graduate from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will see an increase in earnings of $9,100 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma only. A recent study from the Council on Postsecondary Education also showed associate degree graduates earn $422,000 more than a high school graduate over a lifetime.

“Recently, some have questioned the value of higher education,” said KCTCS President Jay K. Box. “These new findings show that investing in a KCTCS education provides better lives for our graduates and a better economy for the Commonwealth.”

The study also shows KCTCS added $3.5 billion in income to the Kentucky econ­omy, a value approximately equal to 1.7 percent of the state’s total gross state product. This includes the impact of operations and construction spending, student spending and alumni spending.

The results of the analysis reflect outcomes for fiscal year 2018-19. The study demonstrates that KCTCS colleges create value from multiple perspectives. The colleges benefit local businesses and the state’s economy by:

  • increasing consumer spending in the state and supplying a steady flow of qualified, educated people into the workforce;
  • bettering the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential;
  • benefitting state taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services;
  • benefitting society as a whole in Kentucky by creating a more prosperous economy; and
  • generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.

To view the entire study and see individual college results, visit the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website.

About the study

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on external data inputs which reflect the most current economic activity and data. These data include (but are not limited to): the taxpayer discount rate; the student discount rate; the consumer savings rate; the consumer price index; national health expenditures; state and local industry earnings as a percent of total industry earnings; income tax brackets and sales tax by state; and unemployment, migration, and life tables. All data sets are maintained quarterly, although most updates occur only once a year. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, visit the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website for a copy of the main report.


About Emsi

Emsi, a CareerBuilder company, is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally. Since 2000, Emsi has completed over 2,000 economic impact studies for educational institutions in three countries.  Visit www.economicmodeling.com for more information about Emsi’s products and services.