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Daniel J. (Dan) Jacobson, Fargo, Published January 18 2009

Nonresident students good for ND economy

I read Ralph Muecke’s letter in the Jan. 14 Forum. His letter concerns state budget changes over the years. I believe he does indeed have a few legitimate concerns. I also think, however, that he needs to look a little bit deeper into one of those concerns.

Muecke states that North Dakota subsidizes nonresidents to come to our colleges, and that we experience no economic benefit from this.

Do students not drive cars, eat food, do laundry, go out to entertainment venues, go to concerts, have medical needs, buy groceries, purchase computers and related computer applications and games, rent videos, etc.? All of these things generate local and statewide revenue. If a student is here for four or five years completing his or her education I think we actually do experience an economic gain.

Additionally, we experience the fact that some of these folks will remain here as solid, tax-paying citizens for many years to come. At the very least we have created opportunities to show off the fantastic area in which we live our daily lives. I have to believe that this also pays great dividends – financially, socially and spiritually – for many people.

So, Mr. Muecke, although I love the fact that you are acting as a watchdog and alerting everyone that we need to remain aware of what our government is brewing up, I have to very respectfully disagree that these students don’t pay dividends. I believe they do, in many ways.