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

May 12, 1998 | The University

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,” Investing in New York’s Future: The CUNY Portfolio.”

In addition, the CUNY Consortium for Economic Growth–special programs at each of CUNY’s 21 colleges and graduate and professional schools impact directly on New York City’s economy in every borough. They include Small Business Development Centers, retraining programs for downsized workers, business management and quality control programs in the workplace; technology training, programs to prepare people with disabilities, as well as public welfare recipients, for the workplace, and research on cost-saving precedures for public agencies, among many others. A variety of programs are developed in collaboration with unions, corporations hospitals, and city and state agencies.

The most far-reaching impact is the low-cost high quality education of more than 200,000 students each year. More than $778 million in State and City tax revenues are generated by CUNY graduates and employees yearly, returning with interest the $716 million in State and City aid the University received in 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 report reaffirms CUNY’s positive impact on the health and vitality of the economies of New York City and New York State,” said Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich. “It demonstrates CUNY’s contributions to the work force and tax base and emphasizes the extraordinarily diverse individual college initiatives and programs. Of equal importance, CUNY graduates productive citizens who stay in New York.and who are leaders in professions and industries for which the New York metropolitan area is famed. ”

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

  • Some 460,000 CUNY graduates from 1970 through 1997 resident and pay taxes in New York, along with hundreds of thousands of pre-1970 graduates, over 200,000 current students and 155,000 adult and continuing education students.
  • Ten years after graduation, 80 percent of CUNY alumni are still in New York.
  • An average bachelor’s degree recipient earns nearly $700,000 more than a high school graduate during a 40-year career.
  • Each year New York City and State derive more than $700 million more in taxes from the University’s 1970-1997 graduates than if these taxpaying alumni had not earned their CUNY degrees.
  • The Department of Commerce estimates that 25 jobs are created for each additional million dollars pumped into the New York economy. CUNY’s impact leads to the creation of 323,000 New York jobs.
  • More top U.S. corporate executives earned their bachelor’s degrees at CUNY than from any other university in the nation, according to the latest Standard & Poor’s survey. Two-thirds of these business leaders live and work in the New York area and employ thousands of New York residents.

According to the New York State Department of Labor, by the year 2000, the majority of jobs will require a college degree 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.