ESI was hired to express the impact of the seven member institutions of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) on the New Jersey state economy. Together, these member institutions are responsible for a significant amount of economic output, supporting thousands of jobs in the state and generating millions of dollars each year in state tax revenues. They also collectively fulfill a critical role in making the state economy more competitive, enhancing the vibrancy of local communities throughout the state, and creating pathways to middle-class jobs for state residents. They therefore produce a compelling return on investment of state dollars and are an important part of the state’s future vitality.
Member institutions are among the largest employers, procurers of goods and services, and initiators of capital projects within their respective communities, all of which directly and indirectly supports households and businesses throughout those regions. Member institutions also attract spending into the state or retain it in the state, in the form of students’ living costs and the spending power of a wide range of visitors to campus (e.g., prospective students, visitors of students, event attendees). Lastly, member institutions’ educating and credentialing function translates into higher earning potential among alumni, which for those graduates who live and work in the state, means more household income spent back into the state economy. In all of these cases, member institutions are enriching the state economy, supporting employment within the state, and growing the state’s tax base.
ESI’s analysis shows NJASCU member institutions, in aggregate, result in a total economic impact of $6.1 billion, contributing $2 billion in employee compensation, $219 million in state tax revenues, and supporting approximately 36,000 jobs. In addition, all NJASCU member institutions have a high positive return on investment—about a million dollars per graduate over the course of their entire career. This is simultaneously more money in the pockets of alumni and more value contributed to the state economy. What’s more, NJASCU institutions multiply the effect of state dollars; every $1 million invested in member institutions generates $16 million in state economic activity.