The Grande Prairie Regional College is looking at just how much of an economic impact the institution has on the region on a yearly basis.

President Don Gnatiuk says the school itself contributes $56 million directly from it’s operation.

“And on the other side, education pays back. Education increases tax return, because people with education earn more, and because they’re informed they are less of a burden on the social network of our society, so all of those things contribute back to Albertans.”

Of the total return on investment, $3.4 million of it comes from student spending, and student productivity is responsible for another $80 million.

“So when you look at the whole thing together, Grande Prairie Regional College, per annum, provides $139.4 million to the region. This speaks volumes to the return on taxpayer investment in post-secondary.”

Gnatiuk says they also looked at the impact on a provincial level.

“We learned that in the province GPRC’s impact is closer to a quarter of a billion dollars, so $243 million. So post-secondary is not a cost to taxpayers, it’s an investment.”

Gnatiuk says the added income created by the GPRC and it’s students is equal to 2545 jobs.