Business Services

Socioeconomic Impact Study

In partnership with the Los Angeles Orange County Regional Consortium (LAOCRC), SOCCCD conducted an economic impact study through EMSI to evaluate the economic value of the South Orange County Community College District in July 2018. South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) creates a significant positive impact on the business community and generates a return on investment to their major stake­holder groups—students, taxpayers, and society. Using a two-pronged approach that involves an economic impact analysis and an investment analysis, this study calculates the benefits received by each of these groups. Results of the analysis reflect fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.



SOCCCD’s FY 2016-17 students paid a total present value of $68.2 million to cover the cost of tuition, fees, supplies, and interest on student loans. They also forwent $332.2 million in money that they would have earned had they been working instead of learning. In return for the monies invested in the colleges, students will receive a present value of $1 billion in increased earnings over their working lives. This translates to a return of $2.60 in higher future earnings for every dollar that students invest in their education. The average annual return for students is 10.2%.

During the analysis year, SOCCCD and their students added $1.3 billion in income to the Orange County economy in California, approximately equal to 0.5% of the county’s total gross regional product product (GRP). SOCCCD’s impact supported 18,341 jobs in FY 2016-17. For perspective, this means that one out of every 124 jobs in Orange County is supported by the activities of SOCCCD and their students.

In FY 2016-17, state and local taxpayers in California paid $224.8 million to support the operations of SOCCCD. The net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of businesses amounts to $531.9 million in benefits to taxpayers. Savings to the public sector add another $42.9 million in benefits due to a reduced demand for government-funded services in California.

Our colleges touch every aspect of life in Orange County, enriching lives and earning power and driving the economy forward. If our colleges did not exist, taxes would have to be raised to offset the contributions in economic, quality of life, and social benefits. An investment in education is an investment in the economy and we really do make a positive impact.

For more detailed information, please view the fact sheet, describing the return on investment to the local economy, students, taxpayers, and society:

Fact Sheet

Economic Impact of SOCCCD on Orange County