The economic impact of veterans who complete college

A new Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) study shows as veterans in Utah attain a greater education, the more they will earn in wages. Over 4,000 veterans were enrolled at USHE institution in 2013-14, a growing population of students on Utah’s campuses. The further indicates the short term investment of state funds in tuition and veterans programs provide an important long-term benefit to Utah’s economy, its communities and individuals.


This report uses data from the American Communities Survey (ACS) 2013, one-year estimates for Utah tax contribution estimates from the Utah Taxpayers Association (2013), and data supplied to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education by the eight USHE colleges and universities.

Estimated Wages, Unemployment, Poverty Rate
by Educational Attainment
(Utah, One Year Estimates)


Based on a reported 4,473 veterans served by USHE institutions in the 2013-2014 academic year ,the incremental wage increase for these veterans would be approximately $47 million per year, and the annual increase to state and local tax revenues would be approximately $4.6 million. This assumes the same proportionate rate of degrees awarded to reach Utah’s Goal of 66% of all adults (ages 25-35) earning a certificate or degree by the year 2020.

If all veterans enrolled in USHE institutions completed a program of study (100% of those enrolled) at approximately the same mix as the USHE goal, the increase to annual wages grows to over $71 million per year and the additional state and local tax revenues is estimated at over $7 million per year (when compared to expected contributions for these same people if their degree attainment stayed at a high school diploma).



Photos Courtesy of University of Utah Veterans Support Center

Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director