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GPC has highest economic impact of state colleges

CLARKSTON — A recent study shows that Georgia Perimeter College has the greatest economic impact among the University System of Georgia’s state colleges.

The study showed that the impact was $774 million and 7,221 jobs in fiscal year 2012. Fiscal year 2011’s impact was $713 million and 6,762 jobs. GPC’s increased economic impact on the region can be felt from Newton to Dunwoody to Alpharetta, according to the report.

“We are proud to continue our mission of providing access to a high quality, affordable college education while also being a powerful force in the region’s economy,” said GPC Interim President Rob Watts.

An annual study of the USG’s economic impact on the state records an overall 7.4 percent increase from fiscal year 2011 to 2012. In cash, that is a jump of $980 million, from $13.2 billion to a new high of $14.1 billion, of direct and indirect spending fueling the regions served by the system’s 31 colleges and universities.

To calculate the economic impact for fiscal year 12, the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business analyzed data collected between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. The annual study is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents by Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center.

“We have been analyzing the University System’s economic impact for a number of years, and what is clear is the importance of these colleges and universities on local and state economies from just about every variable: direct spending, income, production of goods and services and jobs,” said Humphreys.

The first study in the series calculated the USG’s impact at $7.2 billion in fiscal year 1999. The latest $14.1 billion represents a $7.0 billion increase since 1999 – or 98 percent growth in the system’s economic impact on Georgia’s communities. That gain far outstrips inflation, which was 38 percent over this same time period, Humphreys said.

Georgia Perimeter College, the largest state college in the University System of Georgia, serves approximately 24,000 students on four campuses, including Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton; it also has partnership sites in Newton and Rockdale counties, as well as in Alpharetta.