College News

Economic impact benefits of Barton Community College verified by Docking Institute and statewide study

Economic Impact Study

February 13, 2024
Story by Maggie Harris

Barton Community College has a long history of providing affordable and accessible higher education to Barton County for over 50 years, and thanks to a collaborative study with the Docking Institute at Fort Hays State University, the College continues to confirm the economic benefit of the college to the county.

Director of Institutional Effectiveness Todd Mobray presented the study to the Board of Trustees. He said his goal is to make the college's return on investment (ROI) for the county easy to understand and as simple as one number. The Docking Institute helps accomplish that goal.

The Docking Institute verified that for every $1 in taxes, Barton County residents enjoy a return of $2.61 brought back into the local economy.

A total impact of almost $30 million to the county was found when considering all revenue resources. This includes purchases made by the college and wages to employees living in Barton County. An additional $8.9 million can be presumed from the College’s partnerships with local industry.

“The economic impact to the county goes beyond dollars and cents,” Mobray said. “Barton has over 700 partnerships in the county. These collaborations provide donations and exchanges of equipment, classroom space, and internships, benefiting both the students and the partners.”

The study saw an average headcount of 12,710 Barton students, 380 new jobs supported, and 216 full-time employees in Barton County.

Alongside the study from the Docking Institute, the Kansas Association of Community Colleges (KACC) commissioned a study from the firm Lightcast to examine the economic impact of all Kansas community colleges for the fiscal year 2021-22.

During the study year, Lightcast found that Kansas community colleges' daily operations spending added $381.5 million to the state's economy. These community colleges generated around 92,000 enrollments of for-credit and 25,000 non-credit students and employed 8,690 Kansas residents.

For more information and to view the combined report, visit