Mayra Favela sitting in a chair and wearing a black dress at her office.

Mayra Favela is one of many graduates of SDCCD colleges who benefitted from increased earnings after graduation, enhancing the region’s economy.

District’s $4.5 billion economic impact equal to 13 Super Bowls

December 4, 2023 | San Diego Community College District

A recent study found that the San Diego Community College District has a $4.5 billion economic impact on San Diego County, with massive advantages to students, taxpayers and society from the education students receive at the district’s four colleges.

The study by Lightcast, a leading provider of economic and labor market data, found that the district’s economic impact is equivalent to the financial gains of holding 13 Super Bowls in San Diego. The results of the analysis were based on data from the 2021-2022 academic year.

The district’s $4.5 billion economic impact supports 42,121 jobs, or one of out of every 53 jobs in San Diego County, the report said. The district’s economic impact is reflected in the jobs that graduates attain in high-demand industries because of their education, the cost of running the institutions, and the costs of construction at the college campuses.

“This study confirms that our colleges not only enrich the lives of our students, but our overall economy also benefits by providing a steady flow of qualified, trained workers to the workplace,” said Acting Chancellor Gregory A. Smith.

Students at San Diego City, Mesa, Miramar and Continuing Education can count on a high rate of return for their investment in their education. For every $1 that students spend on their education, they will gain $3.90 in higher lifetime earnings, the study found.

Mayra Favela, a San Diego City College graduate, turned her life around with the education she received at the college’s graphic design program. Before she got her degree, she was working as a restaurant server. She now works as a designer at BASIC/DEPT, a creative digital agency.

“I really work for an incredible company where I feel seen and valued,” Favela said. “I love that I get to work with so many talented people. I can’t believe that I got my dream job.”

Spending by San Diego Community College District alumni such as Favela resulted in a $3.8 billion economic impact for San Diego County. Almost 53% of alumni from the district’s colleges have remained in San Diego County, and about three-fourths have remained in California.

The study also found that:

  • The economic impact of district spending for operations was $472.8 million.
  • The economic impact of student spending was $148.1million, for bringing in students from outside the county and retaining students who otherwise would have left the county.
  • The economic impact of construction at the colleges was $5 million.
  • For every dollar invested in public funds for the San Diego Community College District, taxpayers receive a $1.40 benefit. 
  • For every dollar spent by society, $10.60 was gained in social sector savings.
  • The report concluded that while the value of the San Diego Community College District to San Diego County is larger than its economic impact, understanding its dollars and cents value is important. 

“The San Diego Community College District benefits society as a whole in California by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students,” the report said.

Subscribe to newscenter

Upcoming Events

More Events