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FY 2008 University System Economic Impact Estimated at $3.5 billion

Posted on 1/15/2009

For Immediate Release:For More Information Contact:
Jan. 15, 2009Debra A. Anderson, Director of Public Affairs
North Dakota University System
Phone: 701.328.2962

FY 2008 University System Economic Impact Estimated at $3.5 billion

BISMARCK, N.D. - The economic impact of the North Dakota University System and its students on the state of North Dakota has risen dramatically over the past nine years and now stands at an estimated $3.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2008, according to a recent report by North Dakota State University's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

Titled Economic Impact of the North Dakota University System, the FY 2008 report is similar to studies conducted for FY 1999, FY 2004 and FY 2006. Report co-authors F. Larry Leistritz and Randall Coon use the North Dakota Input-Output Model to estimate economic impact by applying a multiplier to NDUS expenditures.

"The state's institutions of higher education are a significant force in the North Dakota economy," Leistritz and Coon concluded. "They provide educational opportunities for a workforce that needs more technological skills, and they serve as centers for local and regional economic development opportunities."

The North Dakota University System is committed to meeting the expectations of the Roundtable on Higher Education," said Richie Smith, president of the State Board of Higher Education. "This private/public sector partnership charged the University System with creating an even brighter future for our students and the people and state of North Dakota. This growth in economic impact is a reflection of the University System's dedication to academic excellence and economic growth."

Key measures of the economic impact of the North Dakota University System in FY2008 include:

  • The 11 campuses and related entities injected $940 million into local economies, including expenditures for salaries and wages, scholarships, utilities and capital investment. Almost 75 percent ($689 million) of the funding was from non-general fund sources. These expenditures resulted in total business activity of $2.8 billion in FY 2008, a 77 percent increase since 1999 with the strongest impacts on households (personal income of residents), retail trade, construction, finance, real estate and insurance.

  • Student spending for living expenses contributed another $305 million in direct economic impact to the state.

  • When combined, the NDUS and students provided a direct FY 2008 economic impact to the state of $1.2 billion.

  • From 1999 to 2008, much of the $407 million in direct economic impact growth (from $533 to 940 million) is from non-general fund sources such as grants, contracts and donations. The North Dakota Input-Output Model estimates secondary impacts based on NDUS direct expenditures. The model estimates the changes in gross business volume (gross receipts) for all sectors of the area economy.

    With representation from the private and public sectors, in 2000 the Roundtable on Higher Education defined expectations of the NDUS and said the University System should play a larger role in enhancing the economic and social vitality of North Dakota.

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