Kent State's $3.4-Billion Impact: Economic Study Details University's Vital and Growing Role in Regional Economy and Shows High Value of a Kent State Education

You will find Kent State University driving the region’s economy in nearly every sector of industry. From FedEx to Medical Mutual to Sherwin-Williams and the Cleveland Indians, our graduates are making dynamic impact and shaping lasting contributions across Northeast Ohio. 

Every day, Kent State and its graduates – including 109,000 alumni living in Ohio – are improving the quality of life for this region; and in the process, they are churning billions annually into the economy.

Those are the findings of a newly released report by EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young), outlining results of a comprehensive, independent study of Kent State’s economic and fiscal contributions to local communities, the Northeast Ohio region and the state of Ohio. EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, is a professional services firm, providing assurance, tax, consulting and advisory services to companies and organizations worldwide. It is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.

The study shows that Kent State is a powerful economic engine, directly contributing more than $1 billion annually to the Northeast Ohio region’s prosperity. When coupled with the earnings of the Kent State alumni living in Northeast Ohio, and throughout Ohio, the university’s annual economic impact on the region soars to nearly $3.4 billion and more than $3.8 billion statewide.

“The results of this independent report show that Kent State University not only transforms the lives of our students, but also elevates the quality of life across the entire Northeast Ohio region,” says Kent State President Beverly J. Warren. “We know that Kent State has been a thought leader for the region since its founding in 1910, and now this study clearly shows that our economic impact is equally profound.”

Nearly half of nurses in Northeast Ohio who tirelessly work to keep our communities healthy are graduates of Kent State. More than 700 licensed teachers who dedicate their lives to educating our youth are proud Kent State alumni. In fact, thousands of pilots, podiatrists, journalists, architects, business leaders, researchers, artists, marketers and many other professionals are investing their skills and talents – earned through a Kent State degree – to improve lives and better our region.

The study examined five components of the university’s fiscal and economic contributions for Fiscal Year 2017 across 18 counties in Northeast Ohio: operations, capital investments, visitor spending, student spending and alumni earnings.

When looking at Kent State’s direct, indirect and induced economic contributions, EY reported that in Fiscal Year 2017 Kent State contributed:

Approximately 11,800 jobs to the region’s economy, including its 6,500 employees and 5,300 others in jobs supported by the university, its capital projects or the spending of its students and visitors.

More than $550 million of income from those jobs.

Nearly $1.1 billion of economic output for the region generated by that income.

More than $60 million in state and local taxes paid, including income and sales taxes.

Kent State is the largest public university in Northeast Ohio and the third largest of the state’s 14 public university systems. Geographically, Kent State’s eight-campus system covers an area the size of the state of Connecticut. The Kent State footprint also includes a Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg, the College of Podiatric Medicine and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative in Cuyahoga County, an award-winning airport and a top-ranked multidisciplinary program in Florence, Italy, along with dozens of international programs, which, in total, serve more than 44,000 students.

The transformational power of Kent State, according to the EY report, has its most significant impact on the future earnings of Kent State graduates living in Northeast Ohio. Of the university’s 241,000 alumni worldwide, nearly 109,000 or 45 percent live in Ohio, while more than 92,000 or 38 percent live in the 18-county Northeast Ohio region examined in the report.

In 2017, Kent State alumni in those 18 counties earned $2.4 billion more than they would have without their degrees, EY determined. More than $930 million of that added wealth rests in Portage and Cuyahoga counties.

“We know that Kent State alumni are primed for successful careers when they graduate. The fact that so many decide to remain in the region to pursue their passions only elevates the importance of Kent State as an educational and economic anchor for Northeast Ohio,” President Warren says.

The EY economic report comes as the university pursues a bold six-year strategic plan to elevate Kent State to a nationally distinctive public research university with global reach and transformative regional impact.

Impact in Northeast Ohio is particularly significant in counties where Kent State has Regional Campuses. In those counties, the university’s economic impact, including additional alumni earnings, is as follows:

  • Ashtabula County         $92 million
  • Columbiana County      $106 million
  • Geauga County               $185.8 million
  • Stark County                   $381.7 million
  • Trumbull County           $122.7 million
  • Tuscarawas County      $61.7 million

“This report shows that through the impressive achievements and contributions of our stellar faculty, staff, students and alumni, we are performing beyond expectations as an engaged partner that meets the needs of the community and enhances the quality of life in the region and state,” President Warren says.

Kent State commissioned a study in 2010 using the firm EMSI to evaluate the economic impact of the university on a 12-county area. The current EY study focused on the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio that make up the Team NEO/JobsOhio service area. The 2010 study reported Kent State’s total economic impact in Ohio of $1.9 billion.

POSTED: Friday, March 2, 2018 10:30 AM
UPDATED: Friday, March 01, 2024 02:11 PM

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