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Press Release Impact

The CSU Provides Sevenfold Return on State’s Investment

 

New economic impact study quantifies the CSU’s economic contributions to the state including supporting the creation of 209,400 jobs annually throughout California.

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​Courtesy of CSU Dominguez Hills

 

​​​​A new economic impact study​ illustrates the California State University's significant and varied economic contributions to the state's economy including a return of nearly seven dollars for every dollar invested in the university by California. Some of the other notable examples of the CSU's annual statewide economic impact include: 

  • $26.9 billion in industry activity throughout the state 
  • $10.3 billion in labor income 
  • $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue 
  • The creation of 209,400 jobs

​“The California State University has long been recognized for the quality of its educational offerings and as an economic engine powering California, and this new report helps to further illustrate and quantify the consequential impact of the CSU on the Golden State," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “A return of nearly seven dollars for every dollar invested in the university demonstrates the wisdom of continued bold investment in the university." 

The study utilizes data from 2018-19 and was conducted by global advisory and digital services provider ICF. As a state supported institution, the CSU is reliant on the state's General Fund allocation to fund the university's operating budget. California's increased investment in the CSU over the past several years has resulted in growth in student success with annual increases in graduation rates which have reached all-time highs under the university's Graduation Initiative 2025.  

CSU Provides Ample Return on California's Investment 
The economic impact study provides an even more comprehensive look at the return on California's investment in the CSU. For every dollar invested by the state in the CSU, $6.98 of positive economic activity is generated in the state. When the impact of the enhanced earnings of CSU alumni is factored in, the figure is even greater—$29.90 in total economic activity for every dollar invested. This figure demonstrates the ripple effect that each dollar of spending by the CSU and its students has on the state. 

 The study also points to the return on investment into CSU campuses in regions throughout the state. ​

  • For every dollar the state invested in the Bay Area CSU campuses, $7.24 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Central Coast CSU campuses, $7.94 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Los Angeles area CSU campuses, $5.97 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Inland Empire CSU campuses, $6.72 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in Humboldt State University, $6.08 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the Sacramento Valley region, $8.07 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the San Diego region, $8.64 in statewide spending is generated. 
  • For every dollar the state invested in CSU campuses in the San Joaquin Valley region, $7.23 in statewide spending is generated. 

The report also examines the CSU's impact on several of California's most essential industries as well as those positioned for growth, including agriculture, water research, biotechnology and healthcare, and energy and environment, among others. 


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.9 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter. 


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