Thursday, February 19, 2015 06:00 PM


Debate has been vigorous in recent years over the real value of college education. 

Some have questioned whether a liberal arts education, for example, is worth the cost and suggested that we should ask our institutions of higher learning to be more focused on concrete job skills and practical education. 

Leave aside for a moment the discussion over whether a college education is worth it -- although we fervently believe it is, even if your degree is in philosophy, say, or comparative literature.

A new study out this week should convince even the most flint-eyed critics that our colleges, universities and community colleges add value to our state.

Collectively, our public, private and community colleges contribute $63.5 billion annually in economic value to North Carolina’s economy, according to a report commissioned by North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the state’s public universities and the community colleges.

The study looked at the economic impact of the University of North Carolina’s 16 campuses, the state’s 58 community college campuses and the 36 members of the private-college association.

Economic Modeling Specialist International detailed the economic impact by a range of components such as operations, research and clinical spending, construction and student and visitor spending.  The schools “further benefit society ...

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See also: Wake Opthalmology