New education report looks at college enrollment

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A new report from Helios Education Foundation and Education Forward Arizona looks at the economic impact of getting more Arizona students to enroll in and complete college.

The report, titled “Billions to Gain: The Economic Benefits of Investing in a More Educated Arizona,” takes an in-depth look at how much students and the state stand to gain by increasing college enrollment and completion numbers.

Highlights from the report include: Lifetime earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree are nearly three times higher than for those who stop their education after high school, AND increasing college enrollment by 20 percent in Arizona would bring social gains (earnings, health, welfare, productivity) totaling more than $5 billion per student cohort and tax revenue gains of nearly $2 billion per student cohort.

We welcomed Dr. Paul Perrault, Senior Vice President of Helios to Arizona Horizon to discuss more about the report.

Would there be economic benefits for everyone?

“That’s correct. In Arizona, we have opportunities to all gain from this, so how do we build and with a qualified education, a work force, a thriving economy and ultimately a better quality of life for all Arizonans?” said Perrault.

Is there a focus on college degrees and attendance?

“Yes, what we want to see is kids go to college, but we also want to see them complete. Once you start getting that associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, you really have a large opportunity over the lifetime of your career,” said Perrault.

Are there fiscal gains?

“If we think about Arizona, we like to have our tax rates low, so when we have better paying jobs and more high demand jobs, people are earning higher salaries. They’re buying those houses you talked about with the Mayor, they’re buying more things in stores. We bring in more tax revenue that really can help build better parks, build those trees,” said Perrault.

Dr. Paul Perrault, Senior Vice President of Helios

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