A University of Central Arkansas graduate will receive a cumulative $5.30 in higher income on each dollar invested at the school, a recent study indicates.

A student economic impact report compiled by UCA and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. was released Monday.

The firm, which produces similar reports for higher education institutions worldwide, applied a “comprehensive model designed to quantify the economic benefits of UCA,” officials said.
Findings are translated into commonly used financial terms of benefit, cost and investment. A student who invests in the school, for instance, can expect a payback period of 10.7 years, according to the firm.

Beyond the investment analysis, which centers on the student or graduate, the report offers an economic growth analysis that provides insight into UCA’s impact on what the firm has determined to be the school’s service area. The six counties in the UCA service area are Perry, Faulkner, Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Grant.
The report boasts a net added income for the school’s service area of $96.6 million. A total of $78.6 million annually is generated from UCA’s general operations, $378,300 by visitors to the school, and $17.6 million is contributed by non-local students, the study reports.

Accumulated credit hours achieved by former UCA students over the past 30 years translates to $329.5 million in added regional income each year, the report states. The figure is based on the higher earnings of students and increased output of businesses.

The report lends some comfort to taxpayers in regard to “avoided costs.”

A return rate of 7.9 percent on a taxpayer’s investment in UCA is attributed to improved health, reduced welfare, reduced unemployment and lower crime in the determined service area, the report states.

According to EMSI, the public saves $18.5 million in social costs yearly because of the university’s presence.
More findings from the report will be available online at www.thecabin.net and in the Log Cabin’s print edition this week.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)