Return On Investment (ROI) is what drives the business world. It is what you get back for what you invest. It's used in almost every business decision. We use it every day, most of the time without even noticing. For example, when you make the choice between spending money to go to the movies or spending it to buy a DVD. You try to maximize the return on your movie investment. You can even quantify it; for a family of four, $10.00 per ticket to see the movie has ½ the return of a $20.00 DVD. The DVD choice provides twice the movie watchers per dollar.
When we pay taxes, we also receive a return. If you think about it, you can put a value on the benefits that you receive from our government. Any numbers of ROI studies have been made with respect to public education. A community college ROI study that we are familiar with, "Community Colleges' Best Kept Secret Must Be Exposed," by Richard F. Gillette was described in the Association of Community College Trustee (ACCT) Quarterly, 1999 convention issue. He followed it up with two ACCT workshops, and a number of presentations to state trustee associations.
His study, as well as the studies by Kjell Christophersen and Hank Robison first commissioned by ACCT in 2000 continue to show community colleges generate enormous ROI. We receive over a thousand percent ROI for the taxes we spend on community colleges.
While study after study confirms tax dollars invested in community colleges are paid back many times, dollar per student tax support to community colleges continues to decline. Those responsible for tax funding therefore do not know the tremendous ROI they can generate by adding more funding to community colleges. Present underfunding is placing the "Community" in community colleges at risk. They will continue to exist, but those who need them the most will not be attending and society will pay dearly for this error!
To help you understand how taxes generate large ROIs when invested in community colleges you can download the, "Community Colleges' Best Kept Secret Must Be Exposed" power point presentation and It's simple spreadsheet model from the "Interesting Links" sidebar. They will give you some insight as to what America gains from community colleges and what it can loose by underfunding them.
You can also find the Kjell Christophersen and Hank Robison's CCbenefits Inc. site listed in our "Interesting Links Sidebar." We congratulate Dr. Robinson for the award he received as a result of this work. The Journal of the Regional Science Association International listed Dr. Robison number eighteen on a list of the top one-hundred "intellectual leaders of regional science" for the decade of the nineties