October 21, 2009

Study of the Economic Impact of Virginia Public Higher Education

This study examined the effect of the public higher education sector on Virginia’s economy by incorporating several components using the REMI PI+ model. The study intended to provide a full accounting of the current flow of economic activity in Virginia that could be directly tied to the expenditures and educational activities of publicly supported institutions of higher education, present a “what if” analysis of the additional economic impact that would result from an initiative to increase over the next decade the number of undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded by Virginia public institutions from current levels, examine the broader economic benefits that were reasonably attributed to activities of post-secondary institutions, and catalogue economic gains that occurred as a result of public higher education activities in the areas of industrial attraction, entrepreneurship, innovation, extension, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization. Measured in terms of net present value, the total economic footprint attributable to one year of higher education operations was $23.976 billion in Virginia gross domestic product and those same operations also sponsored 144,550 jobs in the state.

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service – Study of the Economic Impact of Virginia Public Higher Education [full PDF]