College Towns Are Makin’ Money
Upon graduating high school, many young people choose to attend a college or university that fall. Not everyone, of course, but many. And although college tuition and board and all of that fun stuff restricts a student’s tuition budget, it’s nice to know that not all of the money spent goes to only to the college, but to the college town as well. Thus, the money spent by students and visitors in college towns greatly benefits the local economy and helps allow it to grow and prosper.
One surprising finding, for instance, is that more university-related spending (products, services, etc.) actually creates far more jobs off of campus than it does on campus. According to Jeffrey Humphreys from the Georgia Trend, “on average, for each on-campus job there are 1.4 off-campus jobs. [Which] really [is] not too surprising. After all, the private sector businesses operating in “college towns” are by far the biggest recipients of institution-related spending. Without exception, each institution is an economic linchpin of its host community” (Humphreys). And for those who don’t know what “linchpin” means, it’s just a person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization.
Anway, an even more impressive fact about these college towns is that the schools really demonstrate their economic worth during a recession. Mainly that’s because of the relatively steady demand for higher education, even when the economy isn’t doing so hot. Of course economic activity associated with colleges and universities is not “recession proof” by any means, although it does appear to be recession resistant to some degree. For instance, declines in college-related spending tends to be less than the overall economy, but increases are also less conspicuous. Thus, college towns have a tendency to hold relative stability inside and outside of recessions, also making them more economically stable than other towns.
But the interesting facts don’t stop there! They’ve got some impressive figures, too! College towns can also have statewide economic impacts, like how many of the state’s research universities, regional universities, or larger state colleges receive a decent amount of exposure in the media. On the contrary, however, economic impacts by many state universities and colleges, as well as two-year colleges, receive far less attention. This is especially applicable to colleges and universities not located in a major metropolitan area. Despite this, many of those smaller institutions have large economic impacts relative to the size of their local communities. As for the figures mentioned earlier, Jeffrey Humphreys provided some impressive numbers from example college and university towns of their profits:
“Georgia College and State University, Milledge-ville: The economic impact is $172 million; the employment impact is 1,855 jobs, with 714 on campus and 1,141 off-campus.
Georgia Southwestern State University, Americus: An economic impact of nearly $78 million and 793 jobs.
North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega: An economic impact of $146 million. There are 472 on-campus jobs and 971 off-campus jobs that exist due to institution-related spending, creating a combined employment impact of 1,443 jobs.
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton: The total employment impact on Tifton’s economy is 1,005 jobs. That includes 373 on-campus jobs and 632 off-campus jobs. The institution’s economic impact on regional output or sales is $81 million.
Dalton State College: The economic impact is $88 million. The employment impact is 949 jobs, including 338 jobs on the campus and 611 off campus.
Middle Georgia College, Cochran: The college supports 838 jobs in Cochran’s regional economy; the institution’s economic impact exceeds $85 million” (Humphreys).
Looking back at this information, one can determine that there is far more full employment in these college towns than unemployment, regardless of whether an individual is a student or local. Furthermore, there seasonal unemployment is relatively brief, as it’s mainly during the student's breaks. If you are one who prefers a visual example, however, Brooklyn Tech provided this little beauty:
Humphreys, Jeffrey. "College Towns Reap Benefits." Georgia Trend.
"'Made in NY" Media Center Announced." Wpengine. Brooklyn Tech Triangle.