"I don't know that people really stop to think about it, but the economic impact of Carl Albert State College on this area is tremendous." Carl Albert State College President Garry M. Ivey stated, "We have a payroll with over 250 full-time employees. We also have many part-time employees. These people help support our communities as well as do a wonderful job at Carl Albert educating our students."
Ivey said, "On average we house 300 plus students on our Poteau campus. Add to that a couple thousand commuter students at Poteau and Sallisaw and you quickly see the financial assistance that trickles out to the region. I've been told by various business owners that their income stream goes up and down depending on when college is in session."
Ivey continued, "And when you look at our facilities, we have to spend funds to keep our campuses operating with utilities, maintenance, etc. It all adds up, and if the state appropriations continue to dwindle then we have to do what we can if we want to continue to help our students succeed. All the expenses I just mentioned have to be covered out of our general budget and that is made up of state money and tuition dollars."
As conveyed not long ago, the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce commissioned an independent economic impact study regarding higher education. The study found that state funding to Carl Albert had a $6.10 impact for every $1 of state appropriated funds. This was significantly higher than the state average of $4.72 impact. Ivey said, "Again, the college's economic impact has to be considered along with the work at hand, and that is to provide a quality education at an affordable price so our students can go straight to work or transfer for more education/training. This economic impact goes for Poteau, Sallisaw, and many other surrounding towns in the College's region." Ivey concluded, "We are proud to be a part of the community and to be one of the key components of the economy in the region. We strive to keep the cost of earning a degree at Carl Albert State College as affordable as possible for our students while at the same time offering a high quality education."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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