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​New study shows Ohio’s public universities added $42 billion in income to state’s economy

‘Higher education has helped to make America the strongest country in the world’

A new report places a multibillion-dollar figure on the economic value of Ohio’s public universities.

A study by the Inter-University Council of Ohio finds Ohio public universities added $42 billion in income to the Ohio economy. That’s about equal to 6.7 percent of the state’s total economy.

The Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake joined university presidents from across the state at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday at a press conference to highlight the report.

“We know higher education is a great investment for individuals,” Drake said.

The report captured economic data from the 2016-2017 academic year and asserts that higher education supported 558,841 jobs – or one out of every 12 jobs – in Ohio. Labor market analysis firm Emsi, developed the report for the council. The firm serves clients in higher education from around the world.

Some of the other economic findings in the report included: For every $1 students invest in public universities, they receive a cumulative return of $4.60 in higher future earnings. For every $1 of public money invested in public universities, taxpayers receive a cumulative return of $4.10 in benefits.

“By the year 2026, most of the in-demand jobs will require baccalaureate degrees,” Ohio State Sen. Randy Gardner said. “Higher education is of real value in the state of Ohio.”

The report is part of a statewide campaign designed to raise awareness of the value of public higher education and spur efforts to close the state’s increasing higher education attainment gap. The effort, called Forward Ohio, seeks to mobilize public support for greater investment in public higher education.

“Today we have an economic impact statement that demonstrates the way to move Ohio forward is through an investment in higher education and our students,” said Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio.

Economics are not the only consideration. Drake said research into the benefits of higher education suggests that college graduates lead healthier and happier lives and live longer.

“From the founding of our first universities to the life-changing ideas emerging daily on today’s campuses, higher education has helped to make America the strongest country in the world,” he said.