Kennesaw State University’s economic impact reaches $854 million in fiscal year 2011

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Impact up $54 million over fiscal year 2010   KENNESAW, Ga.  (July 10, 2012) —…

Georgia (Jul 10, 2012) —  

Impact up $54 million over fiscal year 2010
KENNESAW, Ga.  (July 10, 2012) — Student spending contributed to a major jump in Kennesaw State University’s local economic impact in fiscal year 2011, pushing the total to nearly $854 million for the period between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
According to a report released this week by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, KSU’s FY 2011 economic impact on the 28-county Atlanta metropolitan region was nearly $854 million, up almost 7 percent from $800 million in FY 2010. The overall economic impact of the 35-unit university system on the state’s economy in FY 2011 was $13.2 billion.
“Even as the national economy continues to struggle, it’s good to know Kennesaw State’s impact on the local economy continues to expand,” said KSU President Daniel S. Papp. “As we prepare to celebrate our first half century, we take great pride in the role KSU plays in the region’s economic success.”
The USG study was conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, which analyzed data collected between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, to calculate the university’s economic impact.
The study measures initial spending on personal services, operating expenses and student spending, as well as the impact of this spending on output, value-added, labor income and employment. The benefits are estimated for three important categories of college/university-related expenditures: spending by the institutions themselves for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures; spending by the students who attend the institutions; and spending by the institutions for capital projects (construction). The economic impact estimates are based on regional input-output models of each institution’s regional economy, certain necessary assumptions, and available data on annual spending in the specified categories. Moreover, the emphasis is on funds received by residents in the region that hosts each college or university.
“Comparisons of the FY 2011 estimates to those for recent years show that our public colleges and universities really proved their economic worth during tough economic times,” said study author Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center. “Without exception, each college or university is an economic lynchpin of its host community.”
Much of Kennesaw State’s $854 million economic impact consists of initial spending by the university for salaries and benefits, operating supplies and expenses and other budgeted expenditures, as well as spending by students. Initial spending by KSU and its students equaled $540 million, or 63 percent, of the total output impact.
The remaining $314 million of the output impact was created by re-spending– the multiplier effect of the dollars that are spent again in the region. For every dollar of initial spending by a university system institution, research found that, on average, an additional 39 cents was generated for the local economy.
Student spending totaled $290 million, up 4.3 percent from $278 million in FY 2010. The economic impact of that spending was $440 million on the local economy.
“Given the phenomenal growth KSU had in output impact the previous year, it would be almost impossible to sustain that,” Humphreys said. “But, the fact that the university registered any growth in student spending after last year’s substantial increase is very encouraging because it shows that the institution is not only serving more students, but students are injecting more dollars into the economy.”
Student spending totaled $262 million in FY ’09, the output impact of which equaled $347 million. In FY ’10 student spending totaled $278 million, with an output impact of $422 million, or a $75 million increase.
Additionally, as part of its economic impact, Kennesaw State generated 8,324 full- and part-time jobs during the study period. Most of the jobs – 4,897 – were off-campus jobs in the public or private sectors that exist because of the presence of KSU in the community. The remainder of the jobs –– 3,427 in all –– were on campus.
The study does not account for all of the short-term impacts of the 35 institutions on their host communities, however. For example, there are no dollar amounts estimated for several sources of college/university-related spending because doing so would require collecting survey data, a task beyond the resources available to this study. In addition, the study neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that an institution of higher education imparts to the host community’s economic development nor does it measure intangible benefits (such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation, and volunteer work) to local residents.
Click here to download the full report.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of 24,100 from 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit