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Study shows private colleges and universities add $8.1 billion to Tennessee economy


Nashville- Tennessee would be poorer without private, non-profit colleges and universities – more than $8.1 billion poorer, according to a recent economic impact study.


            The study, covering the fiscal year 2009-2010 and commissioned by the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), reveals that the State’s private non-profit colleges and universities contributed more than $8.1 billion to the Tennessee economy as a result of their presence. The study determined that TICUA member institutions made approximately 72 % of their expenditures within the State’s borders.


            The study focused on three major areas of the institutions’ economic impact: (1) business volume in the State generated by institutional expenditures ($4.2 billion); (2) full-time-equivalent jobs created and sustained in Tennessee by the colleges and universities’ presence (301,092 jobs, including the institutions’ own 28,764 jobs); and (3) individual income generated in the State by institutional expenditures ($3.9-$4.6 billion). Twenty-eight of the 34 TICUA member institutions participated in the study - an 82% response rate. 


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 employment by state businesses and organizations.


This study clearly documents the significant positive force that the State’s private, non-profit colleges and universities have become in the economic vitality of Tennessee. TICUA President Claude O. Pressnell, Jr. said, “Private colleges across the State are proud to play such an important role in developing a strong Tennessee economy. The institutions educate individuals for the workforce, create jobs in their communities and the money they and their employees spend boosts local economic growth.” 


The study bases its analysis on the Caffrey economic impact model. Developed in 1968 and still considered a standard by the American Council on Education, the Caffrey model is considered more sophisticated and more reliable than other models that simply apply a single economic impact multiplier. The full text of the study can be found at the TICUA website: www.ticua.org/research/sm_files/Economic Impact with figures.pdf


About the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association

TICUA engages Tennessee's private colleges and universities to work collaboratively in areas of public policy, cost containment, and professional development to serve better the State and its citizens.  TICUA's 34 member colleges and universities educate 75,000 students from across the State, country, and throughout the world. For more information about TICUA, please visit our website at www.ticua.org