BHC graduates can expect to earn $507,000 in lifetime gains in Illinois

A 2014 study showed that Black Hawk College graduates can enjoy substantial earnings and savings compared to those who don’t graduate.

The 2014 study conducted by the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies and the Illinois Community College Board measured the economic impact of the College. Highlights from the study include:

A 25-year-old Black Hawk College program graduate can expect a total lifetime earnings gain of more than $500,000! That’s a 39% increase over the average total lifetime earnings of those who do not complete a community college program.

• On average, all students who completed their Black Hawk College education in FY11 saw a $4,100 increase in earnings over their pre-Black Hawk College wages, and graduates of two-year Associate in Applied Science and two-year certificate programs averaged $6,720 in first-year salary gains.

• That’s not the only good news for Black Hawk College graduates. BHC graduates enjoy a significantly smaller amount of student loan debt. According to the study and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the average student loan debt of a BHC graduate in 2012 was only $2,885.The average student loan debt in 2012 for Americans under age 30 was about $21,000.

Dr. Bettie Truitt, president who has been with Black Hawk College for more than 25 years, was not surprised by the findings in this study.

“Black Hawk College is a great value not only because of our affordable tuition, but also because our students are prepared to enter the workforce or transfer to four-year institutions,” she said.

“Our grads go on to become welders, nurses, accountants, teachers, artists and business owners. You’ll find BHC grads in just about every walk of life enjoying amazing careers.”

Most Black Hawk College graduates stay in Illinois, contributing to the local and state economy. The study found that 89% of 2005 graduates were employed in Illinois in the five years following completion.

“Black Hawk College is a community college, and the study shows we truly are!” Dr. Truitt added.

What would you do with an extra half-a-million dollars?

The excitement from the study prompted the college to create a lighthearted contest asking, “What would you do with half a million dollars?”

“We thought it would be fun to see what people would do with that much money so we are using the contest as an informative way to demonstrate the value of a degree from Black Hawk,” chuckled John Meineke, director of marketing and public relations.

Operated as one college with two campuses and several outreach sites, Black Hawk College offers a variety of career and transfer programs. The college also offers a wide range of special purpose and community service (outreach) programs.

Black Hawk College operates within Illinois Community College District #503, an area encompassing 2,200 square miles in nine counties of northwestern Illinois (Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Knox, Marshall, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark and Whiteside). In addition to full-service campuses in Moline and near Kewanee, the college operates the Adult Learning Center in Rock Island, the Community Education Center in Kewanee, the Industrial Training Lab Extension Center in Moline, the Outreach Center in East Moline, and the Welding and Skilled Trades Center in Kewanee. Black Hawk College serves more people than any other institution of higher education in the Quad-Cities area.