COLLEGE STATION-BRYAN - Blinn College, a community college, pumped $247 million into the local economy in 2013, according to an impact study by Economic Modeling Specialists International.
The net impact of the college payroll and expenses at the Bryan campus added about $39 million in regional income. "We have almost 700 faculty members, and in addition to that we have 300 plus staff members," said Bryan campus President Sylvia McMullen.
About 46 percent of students relocated from outside of the Brazos Valley and the money they spent on groceries, in rent and at local business added about $37.5 million to the local economy.
The accumulated contribution of former students employed in the regional workforce totaled about $171 million.
Texas taxpayers paid $19.7 million to support the Bryan campus in 2012–2013 and for every tax dollar spent, $5 was gained in added taxes and public sector savings.
The four-campus Blinn System pumped a combined $345 million into the local economies in Bryan, Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy. That number is up significantly from a 2010 study that estimated the impact at $284 million.
The $247 million impact of the Bryan campus was more than twice the amount of the other three campuses combined.
Blinn District President Harold Nolte touted the broader role of the community college district. He said Blinn's 49 percent transfer rate is not only the highest in the state but is the best in the nation.
The average transfer rate in Texas is 27 percent, he said, and 72 percent of transfer students from Blinn college enroll at Texas A&M.
"It's amazing — you go to most places and they think we're still 3,000 to 4,000 students and we're not. We're 18,500 and we continue to grow," said Nolte. Blinn's enrollment has increased 31 percent since 2006.
Nolte also talked about Blinn's 31 percent enrollment increase since 2006. He called Blinn the "Disney World" of community colleges — where dreams come true.