2019 graduation group picture

We want to shout the results of UC’s Impact Study from the rooftops! 
Dohn needed help to identify the science of its impact. The University of Cincinnati Economics Center provided that help. This work was a donated gift to Dohn. We are deeply grateful for their expert skill and deep caring, and very proud to have the UC Economics Center as a partner.

Full UC Impact Dohn report
UC Impact Dohn study
UC Impact Dohn study

Part of the UC Economics Center mission, “The UC Economics Center provides unbiased, non-partisan economic data and analyses that enable clients to make informed financial, policy, and economic and workforce development decisions.”

The UC Economics Center team delivered for Dohn. Their qualitative findings demonstrate to potential funders that investing in Dohn has positive, and long-lasting impact.

The detailed data that comes from the Impact Study and Benefit-Cost Analysis benefits us internally and externally. 

The UC Economic Impact & Benefit-Cost Analysis of Dohn Community High School

Grant funding applications ask for story and science. As a school serving students who live at the intersection of race and poverty, we have stories. We needed help to identify the science of Dohn’s impact. The University of Cincinnati Economics Center provided that help. These world-class economic researchers mined Dohn’s data and published The Economic Impact and Benefit Cost-Analysis of Dohn Community High School. This work was a donated gift to Dohn, and we want to shout the results from the rooftops! The timing of the publication coincided with the COVID-19 shut-down. We are just now sharing the dynamic results of this Impact Study.

Synopsis of the Findings

1. The Impact Study covers the years 2015 to 2019. There is an increasing trajectory of enrollments and graduates during these five years, and that growth statistic continues.

2. During the time of the Study, Dohn’s most popular program was our 22+ Adult Education Program. There is an astronomical demand for a high school diploma for Cincinnati adults. Thousands of students have graduated since the program’s start in 2016. Current enrollment is at 650 students.

It is our understanding that people over the age of 18 cannot get a job at McDonald’s without a high school diploma or General Education Development, or GED. Dohn’s 22+ program is free, offers personalized student/teacher interaction, and students graduate with a diploma, a higher status than a GED.

3.Financial Impact on Region: Between fiscal years 2015 and 2019, Dohn’s economic impact on the region of Greater Cincinnati was $54.9 million. There was an earnings impact of $21.4 million that was supported by 545 jobs.

In 2019, during a conversation about a potential grant, a Federal funder gasped when informed that our charter school was 19 years old. This longevity within a charter school system is unheard of at the national, and local, level.

As early Board Members can attest, Dohn’s longevity was touch and go during the first years. Thanks to current Board Governance and internal leadership, Dohn’s legacy has legs.

4. Earnings: A high school graduate earns in the range of $20,000 a year, while a high school dropout earns in the range of $10,000 annually. This statistic demonstrates that while still at the edge of poverty, a high school graduate has double the earning power over a high school dropout.

5. Income Tax Revenue: According to the Impact Study, and over the long term, “Dohn graduates are estimated to contribute an additional $12.3 million in City of Cincinnati income taxes and $8.6 million in State of Ohio income taxes.”

6. Sales Tax Revenue: The Study finds that “Dohn graduates are estimated to pay an additional $287,837 in sales tax per year to Hamilton County and the State of Ohio compared to if they had not graduated.”

7. Public Assistance: High School dropouts cost the region money in social services. In contrast, a high school graduate contributes financially to society.

8. Crime: Race and poverty have a direct effect on crime. The UC Impact Study finds that Dohn prevents 16 students a year from becoming incarcerated. The social implications of this prevention are incalculable. The economic effects are measurable, and they result in a savings of $474,067 annually in incarceration fees for Greater Cincinnati taxpayers.

9. Public Expenditures: The Study finds that “The average cost to educate a student at Dohn was $7,784 per year. The total costs to educate Dohn graduates between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 were $16.9 million.”

As a point of contrast, the annual cost to educate a Cincinnati Public Schools student is $19,591 per student.


UC Economics Center Impact Study indicates that for every dollar spent on education at Dohn, there is a $3.79 return in benefits to society.

This Study demonstrate that Dohn Community High School is a full economic partner within the Greater Cincinnati Region.

As employees of Dohn, we could always see the impact of a Dohn education on a high-risk for dropout student. We see this through the growth in educational and social-emotional learning. We see this through the extra bounce in the student’s step, the widening of his smile, and the brighter light in her eyes. We see this through the increased teacher satisfaction in reaching a student who seemed unreachable. We see this in our high rates of graduation, and the increasing amount of vocational training and college applications. We see this in the strength of the student cohort – students helping one another to hang in there and succeed.

Questions specific to this study can be directed to Kathy Palmer, University of Cincinnati Economics Center, palmerk8@ucmail.uc.edu, 513.305.7368

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