University of Northern Iowa has a higher economic impact on Iowa compared to peer universities
The crisis in college education is hitting campuses around the country hard, and many will not survive. Some people question if higher education is worth the cost and question which institutions do a good job and are worthy of support. These are hard questions to answer as institutions serve different populations, have various missions, and vary in their definition of success.
College of Business Administration Department of Accounting Head, Joseph C. Ugrin, and Department of Finance and Department of Economics Head, Shar Self and Dean, Leslie K. Wilson set out to study UNI graduates' economic impact compared to peer regional comprehensive institutions from around the nation. The research included six years of graduation rate data that accessed demographics, socio-economics, and college readiness.
UNI had a 6.0% higher six-year graduation rate than the peer group average from 2012-13 through 2017-18. As a result, it is estimated that 808 more bachelor's and master's degree graduates are working in Iowa than expected if the graduation rates matched the peer group average.
The present value of the estimated increase in total lifetime spending for the additional bachelor's and master's graduates from 2012-13 through 2017-18 is $358,572,320. The current amount of the estimated increase in local lifetime spending for the additional bachelor's and master's graduates from 2012-13 through 2017-18 is $170,289,600. The present value of the expected increase in total lifetime state and local taxes paid for the additional bachelor's and master's graduates from 2012-13 through 2017-18 is $33,014,128.
Although the value of higher education is continuously questioned publicly, the economic impact universities have on state and local economies is substantial, some more than others. This research suggests that the increased number of UNI graduates who live, work, and spend in Iowa helps fuel the economy, which significantly contributes to Iowa’s success in the nation.
Read the full research report here.