A recent study shows that St. Lawrence University’s economic impact on the North Country region of New York increased nearly $15 million over the last two years to just over $276 million.
The study, conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) based in Rochester on behalf of New York’s Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), indicated that in 2013 St. Lawrence’s direct spending in the region totaled $115.5 million, while direct construction spending contributed another $8.75 million. Meanwhile, St. Lawrence directly employed 880 people, and it helped create or support an additional 1,000 jobs in the region.
“Higher education is a proven and powerful economic catalyst, bringing benefits to host communities,” said President William L. Fox ’75. “Through creating and maintaining jobs, purchasing of goods and services, spending by students, families and alumni visitors, and other financial contributions, colleges help propel economic development, a mission we take very seriously.”
The CGR study showed that that independent colleges and universities in New York State contributed $74.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2013. This represents an increase of $11.1 billion, or 17.6 percent, since 2011. In addition, New York State’s Independent Sector directly employs 190,500 people, an increase of nearly 10,000 jobs, or 5 percent, since 2011.
“New York State continues to depend on its higher education institutions to educate our next generation of leaders, as well as contribute to our future economic growth,” said CICU president Laura L. Anglin. “Playing the role of anchor tenants with communities around the state, the Independent Sector educates hundreds of thousands of students while also providing jobs and significant fiscal impact for the communities where they are located. Throughout the state, our campuses are significant contributors to both the economy and community. They are customers for local and state vendors, especially when it comes to construction.”
According to CICU, nearly 1.3 million students enroll annually at colleges and universities in New York State with 39 percent attending a private, not-for-profit institution. The independent sector’s total enrollment was 491,852 for fall 2013, and it granted more than half of all undergraduate degrees in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
The three private colleges of the North Country, which include Clarkson University, Paul Smiths College and St. Lawrence, contributed $680 million to the region, which included more than $69 million in student and visitor spending. The three institutions directly employed nearly 2,000 people and helped create another 210 construction jobs.