NATCHITOCHES—Northwestern State University’s economic impact on the Northwest and Central Louisiana region last year was $428.2 million based on a study by a multi-nation research company that has conducted 1,800 economic development surveys for universities.
NSU president Dr. Chris Maggio said the study by Economic Modeling Specialists International focused on Northwestern’s economic contributions to its service region of Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn Parishes.
Maggio said the university’s impact on the area’s economy represents 1.4 percent of the entire gross regional product, or GRP, of the 10-parish region.
He said the study is “especially significant because it underscores Northwestern’s substantial return on investments to students, taxpayers and society as a whole in Louisiana.”
The new study was part of a statewide economic impact analysis conducted for the University of Louisiana System which concluded that NSU and the other eight schools in the system contributed $10.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2017-18. That was 4.5 percent of the gross state product.
Northwestern’s direct financial impact on the region included $89.4 million in spending for payroll and operations, $8.4 million in student spending, $8.9 million in visitor spending, $314.3 million in alumni impact and more than $7 million in expenditures for research, construction and spinoff companies.
Including the 961 full-time and part-time faculty and staff positions at Northwestern, the university supported a total of 6,946 jobs as a result of its wide-ranging effect on the economy. That is one of every 55 jobs in the region.
Maggio said, “The ongoing daily impact of Northwestern’s economic contributions to the economic stability in this region is extraordinary. The creation and support of jobs and businesses, enhancement of the workforce and quality of life in the area, the attraction of thousands of visitors, and spending by students, university personnel and alumni are at the heart of our regional economy.”
The NSU president added, “The long-term impact of the university on the state and regional economy and Northwestern’s return on investments by students and taxpayers are also meaningful and impressive.”
One conclusion of the study, Maggio said, was that students receive $3.70 in future earnings for every dollar they spend for tuition, fees and other expenses to attend NSU. That is an average annual rate of return of 14.5 percent.
According to the report, the average bachelor’s degree graduate of Northwestern last year will receive $20,500 more in increased annual earnings over a lifetime than those without college degrees.
Maggio said the study also shows that tax dollars invested in Northwestern are returned to the state at a rate of $3.80 for every dollar allocated to the university, which is an average annual rate of return of 12.3 percent.
The study determined that the overall social benefits of NSU to Louisiana are valued at $2.8 billion based on increased lifetime earnings of its graduates, expanded business production and savings related to health care, crime and income assistance primarily as a result of degrees received at the university.
“This economic impact report makes it clear,” Maggio said, “that Northwestern is a major asset to the region and state economically and that state allocations to NSU and tuition and fees paid by students provide multiple, lasting benefits to Louisiana and to students attending the university.”