Study shows KCTCS graduates earn $9,100 more per year than those without college credentials

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% 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.