Study: CSCU system adds $11.1B to state
According to an economic impact study commissioned by the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, the system contributed $11.1 billion to the state’s annual income in 2016-17.
The Idaho-based economic modeling firm Emsi presented its findings of the economic impact the CSCU system has on the state in a presentation to stakeholders at Gateway Community College in New Haven on Thursday.
“Everyone here today knows we deliver real value to the state of Connecticut, but we also know we have to be responsible stewards to those who invested in us,” said system President Mark Ojakian. “We needed an analysis to tell the story.”
Ojakian, a former chief of staff to the outgoing Gov. Dannel Malloy, has been president of the system since 2015. He said he hopes an analysis will be useful to the General Assembly and Gov.-elect Ned Lamont as they focus on appropriations in the future.
Hannah Ruffridge, assistant director of consulting for higher education with Emsi, said in 2016-17 the state’s gross product was $273 billion, making the $11.1 billion contributed to the state nearly 4.1 percent of the gross state product for that year.
She said that, “through the multiplier effect,” about one in 19 jobs in Connecticut is supported by the four universities and 13 colleges in the CSCU system, which includes every public school except for the University of Connecticut.
As far as return on investment goes, Ruffridge said, students could expect to recieve an average of $6.60 in lifetime earnings for every dollar invested in the CSCU system; for every tax dollar invested in the system, she said, taxpayers earn $3.80 in value back.
“I think the taxpayer perspective is increasingly important,” Ojakian said, saying the study should demonstrate to the General Assembly that the CSCU system is “a worthy investment.”
Part of Emsi’s analysis relied on the projection that, without the CSCU system in place, 15 percent of the students in the system from 201617 would have received an education elsewhere before returning to Connecticut to contribute to its economy.
“A lot of it comes down to proximity when it comes to community colleges,” Ruffridge said. The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time are proud to launch the Giving Fund this holiday season to address needy local families and individuals. Actual cases, to which you can donate, appear in the newspapers every Thursday and Sunday through the end of the year.
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