Society as a whole in Arkansas benefits from the presence of UCA in two major ways. Primarily, society benefits from an increased economic base in the state. This is attributed to higher student earnings and increased business output, which raise economic prosperity in Arkansas.
Benefits to society also consist of the savings generated by the improved lifestyles of UCA students. As discussed in the previous section, education is statistically correlated with a variety of lifestyle changes that generate social savings. Note that these costs are avoided by the consumers but are distinct from the costs avoided by the taxpayers outlined above. Healthcare savings include avoided medical costs associated with smoking, alcohol dependence, obesity, drug abuse, and depression. Savings related to crime include reduced security expenditures and insurance administration, lower victim costs, and reduced expenditures by the criminal justice system. Income assistance savings include reduced welfare and unemployment claims. For a list of study references, contact the university for a copy of the main report.
Altogether, the social benefits of UCA equal a present value of $2.7 billion. These benefits include $2.5 billion in added income through students’ increased life- time earnings and increased business output, as well as $191.5 million in social savings related to health, crime, and income assistance in Arkansas. People in Arkansas invested a present value total of $312.9 million in UCA in FY 2018-19. The cost includes all the university and student costs.
The benefit-cost ratio for society is 8.6, equal to the $2.7 billion in benefits divided by the $312.9 million in costs. In other words, for every dollar invested in UCA, people in Arkansas will receive a cumulative value of $8.60 in benefits. The benefits of this investment will occur for as long as UCA’s FY 2018-19 students remain employed in the state workforce.