In Service to Coalitions of Higher Education

Coalitions of colleges and universities often find it helpful to speak as a group, expressing the multitude of benefits they provide to a community and region, both economically and socially. And each institution has a unique case to make- to donors, alumni, students and prospective students, community members, and funders. ESI’s team regularly helps these consortiums to express a compelling message regarding the impact they produce at a local, regional, and global level, at a time when higher education seems to be under unprecedented scrutiny and yet simultaneously in high demand.

AICU Mass – 2023

For the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICU Mass) ESI was hired to conduct an economic impact study of all 59-member private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ESI found that AICU Mass members’ aggregate annual statewide economic impact is $71.1 billion, supporting over 320,000 jobs. It is also estimated that all that economic activity results in $2.4 billion a year in state tax revenues.

In addition to statewide impacts, ESI also calculated the impact of each individual institution, as well as aggregate regional impacts for Eastern Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts, and Western Massachusetts.

However, these numbers do not fully account for the broader and catalytic gains produced by these schools. Many are service-oriented, translating into thousands of hours of volunteer community service and addressing diverse community needs. The education provided by these institutions also contributes significantly to the vibrancy, resiliency, and competitiveness of Massachusetts.

Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area PILOT – 2013

A significant part of Washington D.C.’s vitality comes from the presence of a diverse array of institutions. ESI was retained by the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area to perform an analysis of the economic and community impacts of the regions’ institutions. The study determined that the area’s universities are responsible for directly employing 68,000 people and about $2 billion in annual economic impact.

These contributions emerge from a deliberate effort on the part of the institutions in the district to meld the advancement of their educational and social missions within the district and its neighborhoods and residents.


Council for Christian Colleges & Universities – 2018

ESI was retained by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), an international association of Christian institutions of higher education, to look at the collective impact of its U.S. members. Our work articulates the significant impact these institutions have on the national economy through annual operations and capital investments, the wage premium conferred on graduates, and additional benefits brought to local communities.

The faith-infused experience offered at CCCU institutions also transforms students and produces additional social benefit. Students are more likely than their peers to pursue degrees in socially beneficial professions such as education and human services, and CCCU graduates repay their student loans at rates well above the industry average. The institutions are also anchors in their communities, committed to producing many economic and social benefits at a local level.

Whether in service to a single college or university, or assisting a collective group, we stand ready to provide thorough and accurate research that helps convey the significant contributions these institutions produce. These associations play a vital role in advancing innovation, providing regional economic competitiveness, and equipping students and communities with the skills they need to build a more equitable future.

Lee Huang, President & Principal | [email protected] 

Lee Huang brings over 20 years of experience in economic development experience to ESI public, private, institutional, and not-for-profit clients. He leads consulting engagements in a wide range of fields, including higher education, economic inclusion, environmental sustainability, historic preservation, real estate, neighborhood economic development, non-profits, retail, state and local government, strategic planning, tax policy, and tourism/hospitality, and is a sought-after speaker on these and other topics.

Share This