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Dollars flow from OTC to community

Ceng Lee, a second-year student from Cassville, is a perfect example of how out-of-district students contribute economically to the area when they come to Ozarks Technical Community College.

Lee moved to Springfield to attend OTC. She spends money she earns working at the Battlefield Mall on rent, gas, food, clothes and entertainment while living here and getting her education.

“I have to eat out. I eat out a lot. I like to shop. It takes a lot of money,” said Lee, 20, who is studying to become a dental hygienist.

She is one of more than 4,000 out-of-district students who contribute more than $11.6 million annually to OTC’s service region economy, especially in and around Springfield.

The amount of money out-of-district students spend annually is included in a recent independent economic impact report that shows the actual economic contribution OTC is making to the region.

The report shows that OTC contributes more than $211 million each year to the region through a combination of college operations, student spending and productivity of graduates in the workforce.

In addition to the $11.6 million spent by out-of-district students, another $31.6 million comes from spending through OTC operations.

On top of that, $168.6 million has been added to the economy annually by increased productivity of former students who received their training and education they received at the college.

The report also shows that state dollars that come to the college are shown to be a sound investment.

OTC receives $20.3 million in state appropriations and local taxes and the community receives $40.9 million back over the course of students’ careers, in the form of increased tax revenue and avoided social costs.

“Our impact has been felt in Springfield and throughout southwest Missouri for many years,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, president of the college. 

“This study gave us an opportunity to quantify that impact on our community’s economy, demonstrating in hard figures what we already knew from the stories of our students:  OTC improves the careers, finances, and lives of individuals, which in turn improves the community.”

 To read the economic impact report, go to

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at


College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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