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Multiplier effect: Local economies' boost from colleges and universities is studied

 (Downtown Claremore can be seen from the campus of Rogers State University. According to a new report from the State Chamber Research Foundation, RSU has $93.4 million annual impact on the city. Tulsa World File. Image by James Gibbard)

 

The state’s colleges are economic engines for small town Oklahoma, a new study shows.

 

The State Chamber Research Foundation has released a study showing the economic effect on local economies sparked by the annual state appropriations to Oklahoma’s 29 universities and colleges.

 

The study shows a multiplier effect on average of $9.40 in economic impact for every dollar budgeted to the higher education system. Some of the larger universities and colleges saw an even higher multiplier effect.

 

When it came to two-year colleges, Tulsa Community College led the pack — impacting the city by more than $251 million or a ratio of $7.80 in economic output for every state dollar budgeted. The four-campus college has some 3,300 employees.

 

Oklahoma City Community College was second with $145.3 million in economic output, resulting in $6.60 in impact for every dollar appropriated. The average for two-year colleges was $7.10.

 

The state appropriated $12.3 million to Rogers State University in Claremore, and RSU’s economic impact within that community was the equivalent of $93.4 million, $7.60 for every dollar the state appropriated to the university.

 

“We have long known that RSU is an economic development engine for the communities we serve,” RSU President Larry Rice said.

 

He pointed out that his university brings thousands of commuter students into the communities served by RSU and that nearly 800 students live on the Claremore campus.

 

Those students make local purchases at mom-and-pop stores and eat in area restaurants, buy gas locally and participate in a number of activities that support the Claremore economy. Rogers State is Claremore’s third-largest employer, after Baker Hughes and Claremore Public Schools.

 

Read more at the Tulsa World.

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