In FY 2017-18, Southwest Tech added $159.3 million in income to the Southwest Wisconsin economy*, a value approximately equal to 3.0% of the region’s total gross regional product (GRP). Expressed in terms of jobs, Southwest Tech’s impact supported 2,996 regional jobs. For perspective, the activities of Southwest Tech and its students support one out of every 24 jobs in Southwest Wisconsin.

Student Perspective

  • Southwest Tech’s FY 2017-18 students paid a present value of $7.6 million to cover the cost of tuition, fees, supplies, and interest on student loans. They also forwent $15.6 million in money that they would have earned had they been working instead of attending college.
  • In return for their investment, students will receive $102 million in increased earnings over their working lives. This translates to a return of $4.40 in higher future earnings for every dollar students invest in their education. Students’ average annual rate of return is 20.1%.

Taxpayer Perspective

  • Taxpayers provided Southwest Tech with $18.8 million of funding in FY 2017-18. In return, they will benefit from added tax revenue, stemming from students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased business output, amounting to $34.3 million. A reduced demand for government-funded services in Wisconsin will add another $2.4 million in benefits to taxpayers.
  • For every dollar of public money invested in Southwest Tech, taxpayers will receive $2.00 in return, over the course of students’ working lives. The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 4.9%.

Operations Spending Impact

  • Southwest Tech employed 488 full-time and part-time faculty and staff. Payroll amounted to $18.8 million, much of which was spent in the region for groceries, mortgage and rent payments, dining out, and other household expenses. The college spent another $9.7 million on day-to-day expenses related to facilities, supplies, and professional services.
  • The net impact of the college’s operations spending added $20.1 million in income to the regional economy.

Student Impact

  • Around 11% of students attending Southwest Tech originated from outside the region. Some of these students relocated to Southwest Wisconsin. In addition, some in-region students would have left Southwest Wisconsin for other educational opportunities if not for Southwest Tech. These relocated and retained students spent money on groceries, mortgage and rent payments, and so on at regional businesses.
  • The expenditures of relocated and retained students in FY 2017-18 added $3.5 million in income to the Southwest Wisconsin economy.

Alumni Impact

  • Over the years, students have studied at Southwest Tech and entered or re-entered the workforce with newly-acquired knowledge and skills. Today, thousands of these former students are employed in Southwest Wisconsin.
  • The net impact of Southwest Tech’s former students currently employed in the regional workforce amounted to $135.7 million in added income in FY 2017-18.

* For the purposes of this study, Southwest Wisconsin is defined as Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, and Richland counties.

Economic Impact Analysis

The details used on this page were taken from a study composed and provided by EMSI for the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College district. The reports from EMSI are as follows.

If you are unable to access documents here, please contact the President's Office (, 608.822.2300)