NAICU Washington Update

NAICU Launches National Study on Impact of Independent Colleges

July 24, 2020

NAICU has launched a study to assess the impact of independent colleges and universities, and demonstrate how these institutions are major contributors to the vitality of local communities, states, regions and the nation. 

The firm of Parker Philips has been retained to examine the economic, social and cultural impact of the independent higher education sector on the United States as a whole, and on the eight geographic regions that correspond with NAICU’s governance structure. 

The analysis will measure aspects such as:
  • Economic impacts including the amount of income added to each region and the nation
  • Return on investment including the effects of students’ increased income, students’ economic mobility and the return on their investment in tuition and foregone earnings while in college
  • Community impact and societal benefits and taxpayer savings from graduates who are highly educated and contribute to workforce and economic development
Since the study will include data predating the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe it will provide an important baseline for future studies.

While much of the data necessary for the study can be drawn from publicly available resources, in order to measure social and cultural measures Parker Philips will survey each independent institution in August, asking for information on the wide variety of ways in which our institutions contribute to a vibrant community and region, often reaching beyond to a national or global impact.

Finally, the study will include the results of a series of interviews with local and national figures on how they value the presence, role and contributions of independent colleges and universities. The study is expected to be completed this year by late Fall/early Winter. 

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