Astudy released Thursday by the University of Nebraska at Kearney and EconomicModeling Specialists, Int. shows that the University of Nebraska-Kearney campus adds $653.8million annually to Nebraska's economy.
To arrive at that number, the study took into account $590.4million of student productivity, plus the combined effects of spending inNebraska each year by the university itself ($42.7 million), and by studentsand visitors from outside the state ($20.7 million).
"Thelargest and most important economic impact of UNK is, by far, the student productivity effect that stems from the annual averageincome differential between the 30,000 UNK graduates who live in the state andthose in the Nebraska workforce whose educational attainment is only at thehigh school level."
"Ibelieve Nebraskans recognize that UNK is a regional leader for education,culture, community service, and health care," said UNK Chancellor DougKristensen. "This study demonstrates that we are a major economic engine, andoffer a tremendous return on investment to students and taxpayers."
UNKchose EMSI to conduct the study because of their unique methodology that, whiletaking into account actual spending by the institution, also recognizes theeven more powerful impact of the university's graduates in the Nebraskaworkplace.
"Ratherthan trying to make the university artificially look good by claiming everypossible dollar, we calculate the main components and then discount them," saidEMSI research economist Tim Nadreau, the study's lead author.
ThoughEMSI's approach to economic modeling is rather conservative by some standards,the study's researchers determined that UNK-related activities and outcomes areequal to nearly 1 percent of Nebraska's gross state product, a significantpercentage given UNK's location and size.
Thestudy was commissioned by UNK in early 2012 to help the university betterunderstand its economic and social impact in the region, using university data,public databases, and national studies and surveys from 2010-11.
Thestudy is available in its entirety at http://www.unk.edu/impact