Study reveals Columbus State’s latest economic impact exceeds $290 million

A recent economic impact study commissioned by the University System of Georgia and released in early October estimates Columbus State University’s regional economic impact as $290.5 million for fiscal year 2019.

The annual economic impact study revealed every dollar spent by Columbus State University generates an additional 21 cents for the regional economy.

“USG and our 26 institutions play a critically important role in local economies all across Georgia,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “At the same time, a college degree has never been more essential to success in the workforce and for our state’s economic future. As Georgia’s public college and university system, USG remains committed to improving on the state’s investment in higher education and carrying out our ultimate mission to prepare students for life and work with a college degree.”

CSU’s regional impact is part of the USG’s collective statewide impact of $18.5 billion — a 4.5% increase from fiscal year 2018. The report credits the entire USG system with generating 157,770 total jobs statewide. Of those, Columbus State generated 3,056 jobs — 33% of which are on campus, while the remaining 67% are community-based. On average, each on-campus job led to the creation of two additional off-campus jobs as a result of spending by the institution.

“Our strategic plan calls for Columbus State University to be a leader in academic excellence, public-private partnerships and service to community. We take our charge as an educational and economic leader in the region seriously and are proud to see the impact we continue to have on our community’s fiscal health and workforce development,” said Dr. Chris Markwood, CSU’s president.

The annual study is conducted on behalf of the USG Board of Regents by Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

This year, Humphreys and Alexandra Hill of the Selig Center also conducted a companion study titled “Lifetime Earnings for University System of Georgia Class of 2019.” The center’s research shows work-life earnings increase substantially with each step up in postsecondary educational attainment, a finding that holds true for both Georgia and the nation as a whole.

The earnings study finds that Columbus State University’s Class of 2019 graduates are predicted to earn on average $841,869 more over the course of their careers as a result of their degree. Those who will work in Georgia can expect lifetime earnings of $4.3 million — of which $1.4 million (32 percent) can be directly attributed to their degrees.

Both studies are available from the USG website.