The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

CONTACT: Letitia Clark, MPP

District Director, Public Affairs

(714) 438-4605


August 22, 2018


In partnership with the Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortium, Coast Colleges commissioned a study to measure its economic impact to the local Orange County community through investments of students, alumni, and taxpayers

 COSTA MESA, CA – Uncertainty in the economy usually leads to inflation, unpredictable gas prices, higher housing costs, and varied employment rates. Orange County families face these qualms and more, as concerns about traffic, affordable housing, the environment, and access to a quality education continue to grow.

These looming concerns also influence students when identifying their next step toward academic success and achievement of career goals. The Coast Community College District (CCCD) recently commissioned an economic impact study by Emsi (a labor market analytics firm), in partnership with the Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortium (LAOCRC). The study was commissioned to demonstrate projected future earnings of a student in CCCD, alongside the economic impact to the community with a college-educated workforce.

The Emsi study found that CCCD and its three colleges—Coastline College, Golden West College, and Orange Coast College, create a significant positive impact in the business community and generate a return on investment to its major stakeholder groups—students, taxpayers, and society. Using a two-pronged approach that involved economic impact analysis and an investment analysis—the Emsi study calculated the benefits received by each of the stakeholder groups reflected in the 2016-2017 fiscal year (FY).

The findings in the study revealed that in FY 16-17, for every $1 invested in Coastline College, taxpayers earned $5.30—an annual return of over 10% compared to the stock market 30-year average. Students from Golden West College yielded a significant return on investment in lifetime earnings—netting $5.70 for every $1 invested in their own education. Society as a whole, gained a whopping $21.90 for every $1 invested in Orange Coast College, because of a more educated workforce who are contributors to the local and state economies. Overall, the Coast Community College District and its three colleges contribute to the economic vitality of Orange County. One out of every 92 jobs in the community are supported by the activities of students from CCCD. In FY 16-17, students contributed $141.8 million to the economy through local spending.

Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D., understands why CCCD students make up a substantial portion of the economic activity in Orange County. “Because of their high transfer rates, access to job opportunities for students, and the offering of high quality education on beautiful campuses; Coastline, Golden West, and Orange Coast colleges are sought out by students from the local area, the larger region, and even other countries,” Weispfenning said. “After completing their education, our students tend to stay in the local area, extending their economic participation in the region, because there is room for growth here.” The powerful Orange County economy provides opportunities for students to finish their education and go into careers or transfer to nearby four-year institutions. The three CCCD colleges are near the Orange County coast, where shopping, trendy restaurants, entertainment, and accessible transportation are readily available.

Alumni of the three colleges collectively contributed another $1.4 billion to the local economy through 18,375 jobs. In total, with added income from operations and construction spending, combined with student and alumni impact—CCCD contributed a collective $1.9 billion to the Orange County economy in FY 16-17.

The benefits of a college education extend far beyond the individual. The college earnings and existence of a higher education institution in the community leads to greater economic activity—fueling prosperity at the local, regional, and statewide levels. To learn more about the economic impact of the Coast Community College District, interested members of the community may visit

Analysis of theEconomic Impact and Return on Investment of Education


Coast Colleges 2018 Economic Impact Report



The Coast Community College District is headquartered in Costa Mesa and is the ninth largest district in the country.  The District’s three colleges—Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa— serve over 45,000 students annually, providing traditional degree and transfer opportunities, career and technical training, basic skills, English as a Second Language and other community programs.

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