The economic impact of North Dakota State College of Science and its students on the state of North Dakota has risen dramatically over the past dozen years and stands at an estimated $185.5 million for Fiscal Year 2011, an astounding $98 million growth compared to previous statistics. The recent report entitled Economic Impact of the North Dakota University System summarizes this information and the effect of economic impact throughout the state of North Dakota.
The economic impact from NDSCS includes $21.9 million in student spending (FY 2011) in the Wahpeton area and NDSCS expenditures, coupled with secondary economic impacts.
"The economic impact of NDSCS is a direct indication of how the College partners with our local community to better serve NDSCS, the community of Wahpeton and the state of North Dakota," said Dr. John Richman, NDSCS president. "NDSCS is an important component of the area's local economy."
"Higher education serves North Dakota as a key economic driver that meets the workforce, research, innovation and intellectual needs of the State and its people," said Duaine Espegard, president of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. "Those needs are going to increase as the state's economy blossoms. This report validates the strategic connection between a strong university system and strong economy. It's essential that we make wise investments in higher education so that we can fulfill the needs of those who are creating the state's future."
Experts predict that North Dakota's population will increase 20 percent by the end of the decade.
"About 70 percent of the 120,000 anticipated job openings in the state will require postsecondary education," said NDUS Chancellor H.A. Shirvani. "We have developed the Pathways to Student Success Plan, which will build on the strengths of our system to deliver higher-quality education to better-prepared students, thus ensuring higher graduation and retention rates. We also are re-engineering our system structure to provide greater oversight and accountability as well as more effective and efficient services. Investments in the system now will pay great dividends to the state as it grows."
Key measures of the economic impact of NDSCS in FY 2011 include:
Direct economic impacts (expenditures) of $44.6 million, of which $26 million were expenditures from non-general fund sources.
Direct expenditures from general and non-general funds created a gross business volume of $43.5 million, positively impacting Wahpeton area households; retail trade; construction; finance, insurance and real estate; and business and personal services.
The FY 2011 report was conducted by North Dakota State University's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics and is similar to other studies done in 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2009. Report authors Dean A. Bangsund, Randall C. Coon and Nancy M. Hodur used the North Dakota Input-Output Model to estimate economic impact.
The authors concluded that the state's colleges and universities are able to leverage more than $2.30 from external sources for every dollar of state appropriated funds. Much of those non-appropriated funs come from outside sources and could be considered new money to the state.
"North Dakota is entering a new era, and it's imperative that we make good decisions about where we invest the proceeds of our prosperity," Espegard said. "With some strategic investments in our system, higher education's economic impact will grow exponentially as will its impact on the workforce of tomorrow and the state's future."