RSU and Other State Colleges Have Strong Impact on Economy, Study Shows

A recent economic analysis revealed that for every dollar of state-appropriated funds spent on higher education in Oklahoma, an additional $5.15 is pumped into the state’s economy. The study also indicated that disposable personal income for Oklahoma residents increases by approximately $52 million annually as a result of Rogers State University.

The analysis was conducted recently by Regional Economic Models Inc. for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The study also revealed that the creation of jobs, direct expenditure, increased productivity and the impact of athletics and tourism related to higher education directly and indirectly accounts for approximately 23 percent of the state’s economy.

“Oklahoma higher education is an invaluable resource which produces graduates who stay in Oklahoma, have jobs in Oklahoma, significantly contribute to the quality of life in Oklahoma and have an extra incentive to keep improving it,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “Taxpayers continue to receive a great return on their investment as higher education drives Oklahoma toward a future of long-term, sustained economic growth.”

A college graduate earns more money over the course of a lifetime than a person without a degree. The disposable income of college graduates in Oklahoma creates a buying power of $778 million annually, which benefits retailers and merchants across the state.

Every public college and university in Oklahoma spends money on capital improvements, including construction of new buildings; furniture for faculty, students and staff; equipment for labs and offices; and library materials. In 2008, capital expenditures and construction spending are projected to add 23,750 jobs in Oklahoma.

Using a model of the state and data provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, REMI evaluated contributions of higher education, such as direct institutional employment and spending, students and visitor spending, and graduate earnings and productivity.

The increase in personal income created by Rogers State University also results in an increase in total consumption, the report stated. The contribution to total consumption across the state is $65 million. The increase in consumption requires greater output, which will lead to greater employment. Rogers State University created 1,367 jobs across the state in 2008.

As employment increases, more opportunities are created which have a positive effect on the wage rate, the report said. An increase in employment positively effects disposable income, which raises total consumption and output.

Personal income, consumption, gross regional product and employment are all expected to rise significantly as a result of RSU and other colleges and universities across the state, according to the report.