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College bringing in $369 million to South Georgia

The University System of Georgia reported that Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College had a $369 million impact in South Georgia in 2016. / File

The University System of Georgia reported that Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College had a $369 million impact in South Georgia in 2016.

That's a $40 million increase from the last report in 2014.

ABAC said one of the big reasons for that swing is that more students are now enrolled in its bachelors degree programs, which means they're sticking around the local area for three, four or even five years.

The Tifton-Tift Chamber of Commerce said they've seen how ABAC has helped the community, especially recently.

"Now these graduates are coming through four-year programs. They can stay here; they can put down roots here; they can start their families here, find a good job here, and that's a huge benefit to Tift County," Chamber Vice President Chris Beckham said.

"Businesses come and go, but colleges come and grow, and that's kind of been the story for us, and our impact is growing in the community, but it's also expanding very significantly," ABAC President David Bridges said.

Bridges said he expects ABAC's impact to keep growing as the school soon expands into Bainbridge, Donalsonville and Blakeley with upcoming consolidations.

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