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March 7, 2019

CCIC: CT's independent schools contribute $33.2B to economy

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper University of St. Joseph in West Hartford is one of Connecticut's 15 independent nonprofit colleges and universities.

Connecticut’s 15 independent nonprofit colleges and universities injected $33.2 billion into the state’s economy in 2017, new data show.

Of that amount, over $20.4 billion was direct institutional spending for university purchases, capital expenditures, and employee, student, visitor and alumni spending, according to the latest economic report by the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC), prepared by Quinnipiac University economics professor Dr. Mark P. Gius.

The schools said they contributed another $12.8 billion in indirect economic impacts, such as employment and expenditures of local industries that resulted because of the schools’ presence.

Among the findings from 2017 data, independent institutions created and retained 257,939 jobs in Connecticut while also producing more than 220,000 alumni living in state. The schools also employ almost 30,000 people statewide.

Students and visitors at the schools also spent at least $901.8 million, the report said.

From 2012 to 2017, schools invested an average of more than $11.9 billion a year in new and renovated residential and non-residential buildings and facilities, equipment, arts and library books.

More than 80,000 students attend the schools, and they represent 50.5 percent of all undergraduate students, and 61.5 percent of all graduate students, at Connecticut four-year schools overall.

“Collectively, our member institutions are economic engines in this state, serving as magnets attracting students and their families, alumni and tourists that all spend money locally yet use minimal municipal services,” CCIC President Jennifer Widness said.

In December, Connecticut's public college and university system released its first-ever statewide economic impact study, which said the sector contributes $11 billion annually to the state.

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