A study commissioned by Montgomery County Community College found that students receive a 6-to-1 return on their investments in education.
For every dollar the students spend, they get back $6 in higher wages over the course of their working careers, according to the February 2013 study by Economic Modeling Specialists, Intl.
For Montco students who earn an asssociate's degree, the investment is paid back within 9.4 years, the study says. On average, they earn $15,900 more per year than people who earned only a high school diploma.
Taxpayers also see a good return on their investments in the college, according to the study. For every dollar invested by state and local governments, they collect 2.2 dollars more in taxes due to the students' increased wages.
State and county funding for the college has dropped in recent years, including a $5 million cut to the county subsidy this year. In January, the college increased tuition 8 percent.
The study used information from the college's financial and academic reports, Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and earnings and demographic data from the U.S. Census.