March 16, 2011


Last Year the State’s Higher Education System Contributed $7.3 billion to the Kansas Economy; 
For Every $1 the State Invests in Higher Education, It Receives Nearly $12 in Return

(TOPEKA) – Today the Kansas Board of Regents released a report entitled “The Impact of the Kansas Board of Regents System to the State’s Economy,” which details the contributions of the state’s public higher education system (32 public colleges and universities) to the Kansas economy. The independent report, produced by Dr. Ernest Goss from the Goss Institute of Public Research of Denver, Colorado, reveals that in 2010 the Regents system:

• Produced $7.3 billion in overall economic impacts;
• Generated $3.4 billion in wages and salary impacts;
• Created 95,327 additional jobs; and 
• Contributed $485 million to state and local tax collections.

In addition, the report notes that for every one dollar the State of Kansas invests in higher education, it receives $11.94 in return.

“This report makes it clear that continued and increased investment in higher education is a sure way to boost the Kansas economy,” said Board of Regents’ Chairman Gary Sherrer, of Overland Park. “The Regents system not only produces the skilled employees Kansas businesses and industry rely upon, the system also contributes to enhanced quality of life and economic development. As this report indicates, the state must ultimately increase its investment in higher education if it expects to compete in today’s increasingly challenging global economy.”

The report notes that the Regents system contributes greatly to the state’s economic stability. Individuals with degrees are less likely to be unemployed and they typically earn a higher annual salary. The report states that “by elevating the education level of the Kansas population, the KBOR System is boosting income and lowering joblessness in the state.”

The report also identifies the payback period for certain occupations of graduates noting that “the payback period, or years to recover taxpayer support, was less than five years for most occupations of graduates.” For example, it takes 2.2 years for the state to recoup its investment in an aerospace engineer and 1.6 years to recoup its investment in a dental hygienist.

The report notes that in 2010, 388 of Kansas’ 394 industries experienced positive impacts from higher education spending. And, according to the report, counties that are home to the state’s public colleges and universities “experienced higher rates of growth in technology firms, lower rates of net out-migration, and higher rates of job growth, all which contribute to the state’s economic progress.”

However, regarding state funding for higher education, the report points out that “despite the clear association among earnings, higher education spending and positive labor market outcomes, Kansas spends less per FTE than the U.S. average and lower than any of its geographic neighbors.”

A copy of the complete 48-page report, which contains specific college and university impact data, can be found on the Board’s website at the following link: