In 2013-14 the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) contracted with Northern Illinois University (NIU) Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) to do an in-depth study of the economic impacts of the Illinois Community College System (ICCS). The ICCS Economic Impact Study (EIS) report finds that:

  • An Illinois community college education increases earnings for workers – even during the recession.
  • Illinois community colleges add skills to our workforce and boost the competitiveness of our businesses.
  • Illinois community college graduates generate billions of dollars in state and federal income tax revenues.
  • Illinois community colleges boost the economy of local communities by generating billions of dollars in local sales and wages and approximately 48,000 jobs as major employers.
  • Illinois community colleges are advancing the State’s goal of 60% of adults with a college degree or marketable credential by the year 2025.
  • Illinois community colleges are responding to the State’s changing demographic and educational needs.

The EIS report is unique from many other state and national higher education economic impact analyses because student-level data was matched with employee-level wage data to determine students’ economic impacts through their employment and earnings gains. Funding for the statewide and 39 community college district EIS reports was provided through a federal Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant. No costs were incurred locally.

The statewide report and supporting materials are provided via the links below. Individual community college EIS reports are available through each community college’s communications or institutional research division. Each community college website can be found on the Resource Page.

For more information contact: Nathan Wilson, Senior Director for Research and Policy Studies, 217-558-2067 or

Legislative and media inquiries should be directed to: Matt Berry, Legislative and External Affairs Liaison, 217-785-7411 or


  • Illinois Community Colleges’ Economic Impacts Statewide Report (October 2014)
  • Illinois Community Colleges: An Economic Impact Fact Sheet
    Fact Sheet
  • Community Colleges Driving Force Behind Economic Gains for Students, Employers, and Local Communities (January 27, 2015)
    Press Release | Video
  • An Illinois community college graduate can expect a total lifetime earnings gain of over $570,000 (November 12, 2014)
    Press Release