Independent Colleges and Universities Generate $74.3 Billion in Economic Activity for New York State

News Date: 11/26/2014

Contact: Jennifer Miller, Director of Communications (518-437-4681; or Terri Standish-Kuon (518-437-4681;

Albany, NY -- With total payroll exceeding $26 billion for 394,400 direct, indirect and induced jobs, New York’s independent colleges and universities (private, not-for-profit) are a major source of jobs in all regions of New York State, according to a new economic analysis by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) released today by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).

[img_assist|nid=2208|title=2013StatewideEcoImpact|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=364|height=379]In total, independent colleges and universities in New York State contributed $74.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2013, an increase of $11.1 billion over 2011 figures. As private employers, independent colleges and universities directly employ 190,500 New Yorkers, with taxes paid by private college and university employees totaling $1.9 billion. CGR also estimates that the Independent Sector generates another 203,900 indirect or induced jobs; tech spinoffs add an additional 12,200 jobs.

In 2013, direct institutional spending exceeded $56 billion and academic medical center spending totaled more than $13.2 billion. Additionally, New York’s independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities generated student and visitor spending of $4.5 billion.

The analysis breaks down the statewide impacts into ten regions that align directly with the Regional Economic Development Councils of New York State. The following total overall impacts of the ten regions include: $4.2 billion in the Capital District, $3 billion in Central New York, $5.6 billion in the Finger Lakes, $3.4 billion on Long Island, $4.5 billion in the Mid-Hudson Valley, $639.7 million in the Mohawk Valley, $45.9 billion in New York City, $679.9 million in the North Country, $5 billion in the Southern Tier, and $1.4 billion in Western New York. Breakdowns of all the regional impacts including job figures can be found by visiting:

[img_assist|nid=2206|title=2013 Regional Economic Impact|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=375|height=351]

"New York’s Independent Sector continues to be a major contributor to the New York State economy. This is particularly impressive in the current hyper-competitive higher education economy. These schools have maintained enrollment in the face of declining numbers of high school grads and boosted total research spending by 17% despite reductions in federal research investment,” said CGR’s chief research officer, Kent Gardner, who led the study.

 “New York State continues to depend on its higher education institutions to educate our next generation of leaders, as well as contribute to our future economic growth,” said CICU president Laura L. Anglin. “Playing the role of anchor tenants with communities around the state, the Independent Sector educates hundreds of thousands of students while also providing jobs and significant fiscal impact for the communities where they are located. Throughout the state, our campuses are significant contributors to both the economy and community. They are customers for local and state vendors, especially when it comes to construction.”

Nearly 1.3 million students enroll annually at colleges and universities in New York State with a significant percentage (39%) attending a private, not-for-profit institution. The Independent Sector’s total enrollment is 491,852 for fall 2013. In 2012-13, private, not-for-profit campuses granted 137,651 undergraduate and graduate degrees. 
The Independent Sector of higher education produced 51 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned in New York State in 2012-13; 71 percent of the master’s degrees; and 80 percent of the doctorate and professional degrees, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU): CICU is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State. Founded in 1956 by a small group of private, not-for-profit college and university presidents, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) now represents 100+ independent campuses across New York State. CICU is an educational corporation formed under the New York State Regents. Its mission is to develop consensus among a diverse membership and to advance higher education public policy