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Study highlights the economic impact of UIS

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NPR Illinois
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A nationally known research firm issued the report. Among the findings, UIS added $694.2 million in income to the Illinois economy in Fiscal Year 2021. UIS also supported 6,909 jobs

The university employed 1,048 full and part-time faculty and staff. Payroll totaled $87.3 million, with much of that money spent locally. The university spent another $30 million on day-to-day expenses related to facilities, supplies and professional services. The net impact of the university’s operations spending added $107.3 million in income to the state economy in FY21.

“UIS is an economic engine that fuels continued prosperity,” said UIS Chancellor Janet L. Gooch. “This study shows the tremendous value of our university to students, to taxpayers, and to the entire region and beyond.”

Approximately 23 percent of students attending UIS originated from outside the state. Some of these students relocated to Sangamon County to attend the university. In addition, some in-state students, referred to as retained students, would have left Illinois for other educational opportunities if not for UIS. These relocated and retained students spent $10.7 million in added income that would have not been generated without the university.

“We know the student impact on the local economy is even larger, because we have many students who commute from surrounding counties that spend money while in the area,” Gooch said.

Over the years, students have studied at UIS and entered or re-entered the workforce with newly acquired knowledge and skills. Today, the study found thousands of these former students are employed in Illinois, and they had a net impact of more than $570 million in added income in FY21.

The report also measured the student’s return for their investment in attending UIS. The average UIS bachelor’s degree graduate from FY21 will see annual earnings that are $31,700 higher than a person with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Illinois. Over a working lifetime, the benefits of the bachelor’s degree will amount to a value of $1.2 million in higher earnings per graduate. For every dollar spent on their education, they gained $5.40 in higher future earnings. Students’ average annual rate of return is $18.9%.

Taxpayers provided UIS with $46.3 million of funding in FY21. In return, they will benefit from added tax revenue, stemming from students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased business output, amounting to $127.1 million. For every dollar of public money invested in the university, taxpayers will receive $3.20 in return.

The study from Lightcast (formerly known as Emsi Burning Glass) utilized data provided by the university, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, mathematical formulas and research data to determine the overall economic impact.

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