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Study Shows Private Colleges and Universities Add $7.8 Billion To the Tennessee Economy


December 19, 2007, Nashville, TN    Tennessee would be poorer without its 37 private colleges and universities – about $7.8 billion poorer, according to a recent economic impact study.
            The Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) recently commissioned the study.  Looking at the fiscal year 2006-2007, the study revealed that the state’s private colleges and universities contributed more than $7.8 billion to the state’s economy as a result of their presence.   
            The study focused on three major areas of the institutions’ economic impact: (1) business volume in the state generated by institutional expenditures ($4.0 billion); (2) full-time-equivalent jobs created and sustained in Tennessee by the colleges and universities’ presence (288,816 jobs, including the institutions’ own 30,481 full-time jobs); and (3) individual income generated in the state by institutional expenditures ($3.9-$4.4 billion).
            The study determined that approximately 79% of the independent college and university expenditures during 2006-07 were made within the state’s borders.
            The analysis was based on the Caffrey economic impact model, which was developed in 1968 and is still considered a standard by the American Council on Education. The Caffrey model is considered to be more sophisticated and more reliable than some other models that simply apply a single economic impact multiplier.
            Also worth noting is what the study does not include. It does not consider the intrinsic value that results from the improved productivity and quality of life achieved through increased levels of education, nor does it include the indirect impact of having educated citizens and leaders available for state businesses and organizations.
            TICUA member institutions enroll over 66,000 students each year. This study clearly documents the significant force that the state’s private colleges and universities have become in the economic vitality of Tennessee.
            “This study shows that the financial impact of private colleges and universities on their communities is important, but these institutions provide much more than dollars,” said Claude Pressnell, President of TICUA. “They train and educate the citizens and provide resources and services that increase the quality of life. Private colleges are proud of their relationships with their communities and will continue to play a vital role in educating the students of the state.”
                TICUA engages Tennessee’s private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to better serve the state and its citizens. For more information about TICUA, please visit our website at www.ticua.org.