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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018

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Ohio University adds $2.9 billion annually to Ohio’s economy


An economic impact study recently conducted for Ohio University indicates that Ohio University, its students and statewide alumni added $2.9 billion in income to the state economy in 2016-17. That represents 0.5 percent of Ohio’s total Gross State Product. OHIO’s $2.9 billion of economic impact supported 40,021 jobs, which means that one of every 174 jobs in the State of Ohio is supported by the activities of OHIO and its students.

Conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (Emsi), a leading provider of economic impact studies, the study demonstrates the value of Ohio University and how the institution positively influences both the lives of students and the growth of the state’s economy.

The study makes clear that whether from a student, taxpayer or societal perspective, Ohio University’s return on investment is solid. For example, the study reports that OHIO students realize a 12.8 percent annual return on their investment – or $4.00 in future earnings for every $1 our students spend on tuition, supplies and opportunity costs.

Ohio taxpayers realize an 8.7 percent annual return on their investment in Ohio University – with the benefit coming in the form of future tax revenue and government savings resulting from reducing costs incurred by the state to pay for healthcare, criminal justice programs and unemployment insurance.

"Ohio University's strengths in research, education, and entrepreneurship make our institution a powerful engine of opportunity for the State of Ohio, as well as a great long-term investment for students and the state," said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. "This report provides further evidence of the symbiotic relationship between the university and its region. Ohio has benefited immensely from the activity of its public universities."

The report further notes that in return for their investment in higher education, OHIO students will receive higher future earnings that will continue to grow throughout their working lives. For example, the average bachelor’s degree completer from OHIO will see an increase in earnings of $26,400 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Ohio. Over a working lifetime, this increase in earnings amounts to an undiscounted value of approximately $1,082,400 in higher earnings.

Additionally, the report indicates that our alumni are an important force in Ohio’s economic growth. All OHIO alumni from the past 30 years, in 2016-17 alone, created $2.2 billion in added state income, which is equivalent to supporting almost 32,000 jobs in the state. 

OHIO is committed to forging strategic alliances between partners and stakeholders, on campus and off, for economic development. These alliances bring together the expertise of individuals and programs in innovation and scholarship, the stewardship of place, and talent development. Some recent examples are as follows:

  • Over the past few years Ohio University has taken steps to develop a strategy – now designated the Innovation Strategy – to ensure that the institution continues to engage substantively with the challenges of the 21st century. That program recently provided funding to three new initiatives that advance interdisciplinary research and student and community engagement.
  • Ohio University also partners with The Ohio State University and Kent State University on the Ohio Innovation Fund, which helps to foster innovative companies that emerge out of the research conducted at OHIO, Ohio State, Kent State and other public universities in the State of Ohio. One of the Ohio Innovation Fund's first investments was part of a $5.5M funding package for Global Cooling Inc., a growing company based in Athens County.
  • TechGROWTH Ohio is a public-private partnership that provides entrepreneurial support to startup companies in southeastern Ohio. The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce recently honored TechGROWTH Ohio with the 2015 Holzaepfel award, the top economic development award in the region.

“Ohio University values the impactful community action programs and meaningful service learning initiatives that greatly augment our educational offerings and provide a transformative learning experience for our students,” said Dr. Nellis. “When knowledge gained in the classroom is complemented by skills mastered through experiential learning, students, faculty members, employers, and communities all benefit.”