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Study: NDSU has major impact on region's economy

A new external analysis shows NDSU is a significant contributor to the region’s economy, creating a total impact of $927.3 million in added income for fiscal 2015-16. The impact is the equivalent to supporting 11,886 jobs.

The study was conducted by Emsi, a CareerBuilder company that is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data. Since 2000, Emsi has completed more than 1,700 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries.

According to the executive summary, some of NDSU’s economic effects include:

NDSU operations. Through salary, operating and capital expenditures, NDSU contributed $298.2 million to the region’s economy during fiscal 2015-16. That includes is $103.1 million in added income from NDSU research activities.

Start-up and spin-off company impact. During the fiscal year, NDSU start-up and spin-off companies added $9.3 million in income to the NDSU service area. The impact is the equivalent to supporting 121 jobs.

Student and visitor spending. Students from outside the region spent $63.8 million on food, housing, transportation and other expenses. NDSU also draws thousands of visitors who attend commencement, sporting events and other university activities. The study said those visitors added $4.4 million to the region’s economy.

Alumni impact. During the analysis year, past and present NDSU students generated $560.4 million in added income to the region’s economy, which is the equivalent to supporting 7,773 jobs.

NDSU graduates had a 10.7 percent annual average rate of return on their NDSU educational investment during the study period. That means for each dollar students invest in NDSU in out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they receive a cumulative $2.40 in higher future wages.

In addition, the report says NDSU generates more tax revenue than it takes in. Total benefits to taxpayers equal $200.4 million, compared to taxpayer costs of $165.3 million during the fiscal year.

“The results of this study demonstrate that NDSU creates value from multiple perspectives,” the study concludes. “The university benefits local businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce. It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. It benefits state taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government- supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole in North Dakota by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.”

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU University Relations