While economic downturn has been hard on Basin families, it has also inspired an increase in locals pursuing higher education. According to UBATC representative Paul Hacking, the networking between USU and UBATC is providing opportunities that are helping local families during this tough time. “Higher education is important and is shown to improve income level and quality of life in communities,” shares Hacking. “When the economy is doing well, then our focus is on helping people in their careers but when the economy has slowed, higher education becomes even more important because it helps people prepare for new opportunities and most importantly, it offers people hope for their future.” Another huge advantage when it comes to higher education in the Basin is the networking between UBATC, USU and the school districts. High school students in the Basin have the opportunity for concurrent enrollment which literally translates into time and money saved for Basin students and their families.