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UTTC grads are excellent investment, study says
9 May 2003

BISMARCK, ND - Graduates of United Tribes Technical College will generate over 1,000 percent return in lifetime earnings, according to a study released by the college. The report identified the amount of economic benefit that will be generated by 70 American Indian students who graduate today with two-year degrees.

      The study says that UTTC graduates will earn a projected $85.5 million over their working lifetimes. Because the college is experiencing rapid growth - enrollment was up 25 percent during spring semester - the study predicted an ever increasing economic impact on the nation.

UTTC Graduates
The lives of UTTC graduates are enriched and the country earns a healthy return on its ante. The return on investment for each of 70 UTTC students, who graduated May 9, is over 1,000 percent, according to a study released by the college

      "This study lets people know of the investment and the excellent return that will be earned by UTTC graduates," said David M. Gipp, UTTC President. "The value of a higher education to American Indian students is evident by the facts in this report."

      The study applied a cost versus benefit analysis, commonly used in business, to the largely federally funded college. Balanced against the $5.8 million college operating budget were projected earnings by graduates, the school's 88 percent job placement rate, and the lesser amount earned if students had remained unskilled laborers on their reservations. With average reservation unemployment calculated at 57 percent, the authors subtracted what the individuals would have cost in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance (GA).

      The net gain to the nation for the graduating class was $65.8 million dollars, the report said, representing a healthy return on investment ratio of 11-to-1.

      "Venture capitalists would jump at an investment that returns more than 1,000 percent," said study author Tom Katus, president of TKA International, a social science and management-consulting firm, Rapid City, SD. "And that outstanding return is on people who would normally be on some form of public assistance."

      Co-author Shirley A. Bordeaux, UTTC Chief Financial Officer, said the analysis was undertaken to illustrate all the ways the Federal Government "gets it's money back" when funding is provided for the higher education of American Indians. "I had no idea that the amount would be as large as it turned out," said Bordeaux. "It clearly demonstrates the contributions UTTC graduates make to the nation."

      Dr. Michael Madden, Professor of Economics and Dean of Graduate Studies at National American University, Rapid City, SD, reviewed the study.

      The authors emphasized the study's calculations were considered conservative. The study reported that UTTC graduates would pay almost $10 million in net federal income taxes and $691,000 in net North Dakota state income taxes.

      UTTC has produced over 10,000 graduates in its 34-year history of providing educational, social and cultural services to American Indian students and their families. College graduates earn associate of arts degrees and certificates in 14 vocational-technical fields.

      In the past two years the Bush administration has declined to include funding for UTTC in the Department of Interior budget. Congress restored funding for the current fiscal year but has not done so as yet for FY 2004, which begins in October.

      "We intend to share this information with the Office of Management and Budget," said Gipp. "The evidence is clear that the Department of Interior ought to reconsider their recommendations on the budget. We know we're making a great contribution to society through the students educated at UTTC."


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