New Study Finds $13 Billion CUNY Economic Impact On New York State, 10 Times Size of University’s Budget

The City University of New York contributes nearly $13 billion to New York State’s economy, more than 10 times the size of the university’s budget, according to a new report, “Return to New York: The CUNY Investment.”

CUNY graduates and employees alone generate $717 million in State and City tax revenues yearly, returning to the public coffers the $716.1 million in State and City aid the University received for 1996-97, according to the report just published by The City University of New York. Economists, citing the multiplier effect, report that dollars spent by CUNY have nearly twice their impact, the result of the re-spending that occurs following the original expenditure.

“The City University of New York is vital to the economic health of New York City and State,” said Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds. “Of equal importance to New York’s taxpayers, CUNY graduates productive citizens who stay in New York. They are the intellectual capital that attracts visionary, expanding businesses to the State. They produce an unparalleled return on New York’s investment.”

Among the other major findings of the report are the following:

  • Some 425,000 of CUNY’s 1970-1995 graduates still live and pay taxes in New York, along with hundreds of thousands of previous graduates, 205,000 current students and 150,000 continuing education students.
  • Ten years after graduation, 80 percent of CUNY alumni are still in New York.
  • More than 90 percent of CUNY employees live in New York.
  • As a result of expenditures by the University, students, alumni, and staff, an extra 321,000 jobs are created each year in New York State.
  • The average bachelor’s degree recipient earns over $690,000 more than a high school graduate during a 40-year career.
  • Each year, New York State and New York City derive approximately $646 million more in taxes from CUNY’s 1970-1995 graduates than if these taxpayers had not received a college education.
  • By the year 2000, the majority of jobs will require a college degree, according to the New York State Department of Labor, and the occupations that require the highest levels of education will grow the fastest.
  • CUNY is a leader in educating groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education who will make up a growing portion of New York’s future workforce.