Nearly $5.4 billion impact to Indiana economy

Inside Indiana Business

Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), the membership association of Indiana’s 30 private non-profit colleges and universities, released an economic impact study today showing some $5.4 billion annual impact on Indiana’s economy. ICI’s member institutions employ over 22,000 workers making the sector the 7th largest employer in the state and enroll more than 91,000 students, with a ripple effect throughout the Indiana economy resulting in 50,000 jobs.

The campuses also draw over 3.5 million visitors a year leading to some $530 million in purchases annually at Indiana restaurants, hotels, sports venues, art galleries, and other establishments. Spending on capital projects reached $2.1 billion over the 5-year period of 2012-2017, supporting Indiana construction. ICI colleges are also a top producer of talent for the state’s workforce. They annually produce 30 percent of Indiana bachelor’s degrees, and do it cost-effectively as ICI students receive only 3.6 percent of the state’s higher education expenditures.

“ICI is proud of the impact its 30 private colleges and universities have on Indiana’s economy,” says David W. Wantz, president & CEO of Independent Colleges of Indiana. “These institutions play an important role in generating jobs and boosting businesses across the state. They are vital to the economic health of their communities and a smart investment for the state of Indiana.”

The full study, conducted by Royal Dawson, an independent economic impact consultant and director of institutional research at the Keck Graduate Institute of the Claremont Colleges, may be found here online. The data for the study was collected from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and supplemental institutional surveys. The purpose of the study is a better understanding of how Indiana’s economy benefits overall and community by community from ICI member institutions’ expenditures, construction projects, alumni spending, visitor activity, and the resulting tax revenue.

The economic impact study consists of three parts: an economic impact report generator, an economic impact calculator, and a technical report. The report generator is a tool that provides community leaders, government officials, and members of the general public a snapshot of an individual institution’s regional and statewide impact in multiple categories. The behind-the-scenes calculator is a password protected tool that allows each campus to update institutional data as needed, increasing the accuracy and usefulness of the study over time. The technical report provides helpful context to understand the numbers and methodology of the study.