The Association of New Jersey State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) has released a comprehensive economic impact study highlighting member institutions’ contributions to the state of New Jersey. Among the report’s key findings: NJASCU member institutions generate some $ 6.1 billion in economic activity in New Jersey each year, generating approximately $ 220 million in tax revenue for the state each year.
The seven member institutions of NJASCU – Kean University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Stockton University, The College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University and William Paterson University – also represent a strong return on investment, according to the report. For every million dollars invested by the state, colleges and universities generate $ 16 million in economic activity. They also support approximately 36,000 jobs and $ 2 billion in labor income in the state.
âWe are extremely proud of the impact our seven member institutions have on the New Jersey workforce and economy,â said Gene Lepore, Executive Director of NJASCU. âWe know that our four-year regional public institutions are community anchors and play a vital role in terms of employment, tax revenue and other business and civic activities. This report lists these impacts in detail, confirming that the state’s investment is paying dividends in a substantial way for our students and residents.
To arrive at the overall impact of $ 6.1 billion, the report covers four categories of economic impact: annual operations ($ 2.16 billion); capital investments ($ 211 million); ancillary expenses ($ 843 million); and a salary advantage for alumni, or the additional earning capacity of graduates reinvested in the local economy ($ 2.89 billion). The report also reflects the broader community, social and cultural contributions of member institutions.
âBeyond our economic footprint, NJASCU institutions deliver cutting-edge programs in areas of strategic importance, increase access and opportunities, and put students on the path to well-paying jobs and upward social mobility, âsaid Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D., President of William Paterson University and Chairman of the Presidents of NJASCU. âWe’re doing this through promising college programs, dual enrollment initiatives and accelerated learning opportunities, among other strategies. And for good reason, attending an NJASCU member institution is worth a total of $ 1 million more in terms of earning potential over the career of each graduate. It’s life-changing work, and we approach it with a deep sense of urgency. “
The report also emphasizes the volunteer service and civic engagement of member institutions in their local communities. In recent times, institutions have assumed their role in the COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts, becoming important partners in the public health response. NJASCU institutions continue to host laboratories, testing and vaccination sites, and provide additional human resources in large-scale vaccination programs.
âCOVID-19 has created historic economic and financial uncertainty in New Jersey’s higher education sector, but our institutions have met unprecedented challenges and triumphed,â said Brian K. Bridges, Ph.D., secretary of higher education. âThis Economic Impact Report is proof that our colleges and universities are engines of economic vitality that will contribute to the state’s post-pandemic recovery while preparing students for lifelong success in one hand. -work in dynamic evolution. “
“I was delighted to see that this report confirms what many of us know: NJASCU member institutions are making a substantial impact on the state’s economy in a number of ways,” said Senator Sandra Cunningham , President of the Senate Committee on Higher Education. âWhether it’s creating jobs and supporting the construction industry through various projects, generating spending for students and visitors, and building our human capital pipeline, they really are a wise investment for the state and vital elements of our economic well-being. But I also have immense pride in the work that these institutions do as community partners and cultural hubs. They train the next generation of civic-minded leaders, while meeting the broad needs of the communities in which they are rooted.
âUpon reviewing NJASCU’s full economic impact report, I was delighted but not surprised to learn that our top public colleges and universities are generating a strong return on investment while simultaneously creating thousands of jobs and billion in income from work, âsaid MP Mila Jasey, chair of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee. âThese seven institutions are true educational gems, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, in locations across the state, to collectively meet the needs of each student. Their overall earning potential of $ 1 million over the course of a graduate’s career is testament to the caliber of education offered by these exceptional institutions. I congratulate everyone on a job well done.
The full report and executive summary, produced by Philadelphia-based economics consultancy, Econsult Solutions, is available on the NJASCU website.
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