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SCSU worth $519M annually

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A study suggests that for every $100 produced in the region, $4 are directly or indirectly related to St. Cloud State,

St. Cloud State's annual economic impact on the regional economy is $519 million and 6,579 jobs, according to a study.

The non-profit Wilder Research, St. Paul, studied the 2011 economic impact of the 31-school Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). View the full study (PDF). View the St. Cloud State portion of the study (PDF).

“In addition to focusing on the success of our students on a global scale, St. Cloud State plays a vital role in supporting our state and regional economy on many levels,” said President Earl H. Potter III.

The study suggests that for every $100 produced in the region, $4 are directly or indirectly related to St. Cloud State. The study also concluded that St. Cloud State generates about $29 million in tax revenues for state and local government. 

A previous Wilder Research study pegged St. Cloud State's 2005 regional economic impact at $369 million. That suggests a 29-percent increase in economic impact across six years.  

“Our operations and the economic activity generated by our faculty, staff and students touch virtually every corner of our regional economy and support local business and industry,” Potter said.

St. Cloud State's sister institution, St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC), has an annual economic impact of $121 million, according to the study. View the SCTCC report (PDF).

“This economic impact research provides a statistically valid measurement of the significance of an organization’s activities on the regional economy,” said Jose Diaz, a Wilder research scientist. “Policy makers and community leaders can use the data to inform their decisions. St. Cloud State and St. Cloud Technical and Community College have a significant impact on the regional economy.”

Assuming a 40-year work life, the 3,284 degrees awarded by St. Cloud State in 2011 created $586 million of future value.

Diaz said every graduating class makes a long-term economic contribution because productivity improvements from higher education last for the worker’s entire career.

On a statewide level, the study estimates these annual benefits from MnSCU:

  • Economic impact of $8.3 billion
  • An estimated 80,856 jobs
  • Return of $13.53 for each $1 of state appropriation
  • About $490 million in tax revenues for state and local governments

In addition to the impact outlined above, the enhanced productivity of MnSCU graduates across the state is equivalent to $4.7 billion of future value created each year, according to the study.

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