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Investing in Higher Education Could Lead to Higher Tax Revenues and Salaries, According to New ARCHE Report

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

(June 1, 2009) -- Increasing the state’s investment in higher education could lead to higher tax revenues, incomes and salaries, according to a report by the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE).

The report, “Higher Return: How Investing in Education Pays Off for Georgia,” shows how the lives of Georgians can change for the better if the state increases spending on higher educations. Georgia is 24th in the nation in the level of education of its citizens.

“If we make the investment, there are clear and measurable returns for individuals and society,” said ARCHE President Michael A. Gerber.

According to the report, increasing the number of college graduates in Georgia could raise tax revenues because a person with a bachelor’s degree pays 72 percent more in state and local taxes than someone with a high school diploma.

Currently, approximately 64 cents of every dollar Georgia spends for public assistance goes to citizens who have a high school diploma or less. The odds of a person living in poverty significantly drops as they become more educated.

The average income level of a person with a bachelor’s degree is nearly double that of a person with only a high school diploma. That same person is more likely to own a home and have a much better chance of finding a full-time job than someone with a high school diploma or less.

“The findings document that education is a smart investment for Georgia citizens and our state,” Gerber said. “But if we fail to invest, we all pay the costs.”

To view the entire report, go to http://www.atlantahighered.org/default.aspx?tabid=627&Report=3&xmid=255

Morehouse College is one of 19 private and public institutions in ARCHE, which builds awareness of the size, scope, impact and value of higher education in the region and helps its members share strengths through cooperative programs.

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