Study: Community colleges play an important role in the Texas economy

The Texas Comptroller’s office released a study that found education at a community college like Lone Star College delivers good returns on students’ commitments of time and tuition.

The Texas Comptroller’s office released a study on the economic impact community colleges have on the state’s economy. The study found a community college education delivers good returns on students’ commitments of time and tuition.

“Community colleges are a great value, any way you look at it,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in a statement. “They’re a low-cost way for students to experience higher education, usually in a setting close to home. That’s a winning combination.” Hegar began his own higher education at a community college.

A study conducted by Emsi revealed Lone Star College adds nearly $3 billion annually to the Houston economy with higher student incomes and increased business productivity. LSC also expands the Texas tax base by about $2.1 billion in future tax revenue and government savings. Emsi is a leading provider of economic impact studies.

The Texas Comptroller report noted community colleges offer students accessibility to higher education at an affordable price. Community colleges also serve as a springboard to a bachelor’s degree – 34 percent of four-year college graduates had transferred at least 30 credit hours from a community college.

“We are the first choice for tens of thousands of college students in our community,” said Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor. “Today, more Texas students attend community colleges than a four-year university.”

The Emsi study noted LSC transfer students will save $16,058 in tuition and fees by attending LSC for the first two years of their postsecondary education. LSC saw 16,309 students transfer to a four-year university in 2018 – 2019, the most recent data available.

In all, Texas community colleges reported revenues of more than $5.3 billion in fiscal 2018, which produced $4.5 billion in additional economic activity by businesses and households for a total output of more than $9.8 billion annually. 

The Texas Comptroller study concluded community colleges contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economic output and provide Texas students with a low-cost opportunity to learn in-demand skills while preparing others for further education at a four-year university.

Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of seven colleges, 10 centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit

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