Campus economic impact totals nearly $73 million

Penn State's impact extends well beyond its teaching and research. In fact, Penn State is Pennsylvania's largest economic engine, generating more than $17 billion a year in overall economic impact and supporting more than 67,000 jobs. Penn State New Kensington was responsible for nearly $73 million of that amount and nearly 350 jobs in the region.

In an independent report released April 23, data show that Penn State not only is fueling the growth of Pennsylvania by directly generating nearly $8.5 billion in economic impact but also influences an additional $8.7 billion through business services, research commercialization and the activities of alumni.

Penn State contributes in a variety of ways to the vitality of Pennsylvania's economy. According to the report, the University generated more than 2 percent of the state's business volume or more than $1 out of every $50 dollars in the state's total economy. Penn State New Kensington is a major cog in that economic engine. The 900-student campus contributes significantly to Penn State's total business volume impact in surrounding Armstrong, Butler, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

In addition, Penn State leverages its state funding. For every dollar invested in 2008 by the Commonwealth to support the operations of Penn State, the University returned $25.06 in economic impact to Pennsylvania, according to the report.

The four-month study by Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach indicates that Penn State's impact far outweighs other industries in the state. With the total direct, indirect and induced annual economic impact equaling more than $17 billion, the University currently creates more impact than the combined total impact of all of the state's airport hubs, professional sports teams, and arts and cultural organizations. Tourism, the state's second largest industry, is directly
driven by Penn State. The University accounts for the attraction of 1 million visitors and the addition of $1.73 billion to the state's economy each year, including $6.9 million at Penn State New Kensington.

Spending by out-of-state visitors alone totaled $777 million last year, including $7.9 million spent in relation to Penn State New Kensington. University-wide spending by students ($932 million), employees ($805 million), and money expended for capital improvements, goods and services ($1 billion), drives nearly $3.7 billion in business volume into the state's economy, with nearly $32 million of that total coming from the Upper Burrell campus.

Tax revenue coming from Penn State alone more than repays the amount of appropriation received by the University each year. Government revenue driven by Penn State included $393 million — $4.7 million at the New Kensington campus.

In sum, the University returned $1.91 in tax revenue for every $1 itreceived in state appropriation.

The University's 40,000-plus employees provide benefits to the commonwealth beyond the more than $8.5 billion in annual operational impact. The study estimates that employees donate more than $130 million in charitable donations and volunteer services within the state.

Catalysts for economic activity, Penn State New Kensington faculty and staff spent a total of almost $4.5 million in the state the majority of their disposable income spent in the region. The spending by off-campus students, outside the University, for housing, food, supplies, entertainment and other items and services, comprise students' direct impact on the Pennsylvania economy. In total, Penn State New Kensington students spent $17.7 million.

More than 250,000 alumni reside in Pennsylvania, and they generate $1.9 billion annually in additional economic impact and more than $59 million in additional government revenue for the state.

In addition, the study reveals that more than 17,000 Penn State alumni own businesses in Pennsylvania, directly employing more than 475,000 residents. The average wage paid at companies owned by Penn State graduates is $9,800 higher than the average wage in the state, translating into more than $4.1 billion in addition expansion of the commonwealth's economy and more than $125 million in additional government revenue.

The University annually expends more than $700 million through its research activities. Research at Penn State supports more than 18,000 additional jobs in Pennsylvania, which generates more than $1.9 billion in additional economic impact and more than $61 million in additional revenue for the Commonwealth annually.

To view the report in its entirety, visit online.


Media Contacts: 
Last Updated April 30, 2009