KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo added $130.2 million in income to north central Indiana’s economy in FY 2018-19 through its investments in the educational success of its students, research and innovation, and engagement in the economic development, health, and well-being of its communities.
Expressed in terms of jobs, the campus supported 2,325 jobs, according to a new economic impact study released October 1 by IU.
Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke only expects that impact to grow in the future.
“For the past 75 years, we have had a positive economic impact on our region, and we look forward to an even brighter future as our campus continues to grow,” she said. “Year after year, we continue to set new enrollment records, and then break those records, as we provide a high-quality IU education to our region’s future entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses and health care professionals, scientists, and community leaders.”
Fall 2020 classes began August 24 with 3,227 students on campus, an increase of 2 percent from fall 2019. Those students account for 39,628 credit hours, up 2.6 percent from the previous year. They include 2,830 undergraduates, an increase of 2.8 percent over 2019, and 172 graduate students — up 8.9 percent.
Those students have an impact, both while on campus and after graduation.
Spending by current students added $2.7 million in income to the economy. About 12 percent come from outside north central Indiana, relocating to earn their degrees, while others who would have moved away stayed because of the opportunity to earn an IU degree in Kokomo. These students spent money on groceries, mortgage and rent payments, and other living expenses, at regional businesses.
The campus has more than 14,000 alumni, and with thousands of them working in the region, their net impact amounted to $100.8 million in added income.
The net impact of campus operations added $26 million in income to the regional economy, including payroll of $23.9 million for its 742 full-time and part-time faculty and staff. Much of that payroll was spent in the region for groceries, mortgage and rent payments, dining out, and other household expenses. The campus spent an additional $11.3 million on day-to-day expenses related to facilities.
Construction spending added another $474.9 thousand in income for the region, as the campus invests in maintaining its facilities, creating new facilities, and meeting its growing educational demands, generating a short-term infusion of spending and jobs.
Out-of-region visitors attracted to the region for activities at IU Kokomo brought new dollars to the economy through their spending at restaurants, gas stations and other regional business, for an impact of about $96.4 thousand in income.
Taxpayers provided the campus with $16.5 million in funding, and in turn will benefit from added tax revenue, stemming from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased business output, amounting to $23 million. A reduced demand for government-funded services in Indiana will add another $3.6 million in benefits to taxpayers.
For every dollar of public money invested in IU Kokomo, taxpayers will receive $1.60 in return, over the course of the students’ working lives. For every $10,000 invested by taxpayers, they will receive $16,000 in return. The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 4.0 percent.
In return for investing in college education at IU Kokomo, students will receive $199 million in increased earnings over their working lives, which translates to a return of $4.50 in higher future earnings for every dollar students invest in their education. Students average annual rate of return is 17.3 percent.
The study was commissioned by the university and conducted by Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions in the U.S. and internationally. Applying a conservative methodology and using only the most recognized indicators of economic impact and investment effectiveness, the study examined the economic impacts of IU’s spending across the state’s major industries and the costs associated with IU educational activities from the perspective of students, taxpayers and society at large.
It was produced in conjunction with IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, which was just successfully completed, and IU’s Bicentennial Year, which the university commemorated between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. As such, the results of the study underscore the university’s vital role in contributing to the economic life and well-being of the state as it begins its third century of operations.