Background Image

News & Events


Clarkson University Has $225 Million Impact on Regional Economy

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) issued a report today indicating that independent colleges and universities generate $54.3 Billion in economic impact for New York State. Clarkson University provides an economic impact of more than $225 million to the regional economy through its institutional operations and jobs related to supporting student services and commercialization of research.

Clarkson University President Tony Collins said, "The North Country is a great place to learn, live and work. We are committed to the economic vitality of our region as well as delivering a world-class education that prepares students for positions of leadership in industry and global enterprises. By integrating the processes of discovery, engineering innovation and commercialization into our curriculum and external outreach efforts, we are leading the development of a powerful model for the role research universities can have in creating economic impact in their communities."

Clarkson University’s detailed economic impact data can be found at 6-2011.pdf .

The CICU news release follows below:

For immediate release, January 26, 2011

Contact: Terri Standish-Kuon, 518-436-4781, Jennifer Miller, 518-436-4781, Kent Gardner, 585-466-4273,

Independent Colleges and Universities Generate $54.3 Billion in Economic Impact for New York State

Three Northern New York Institutions Generate $563 Million

With total payroll exceeding $19.5 billion for 360,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs, New York’s independent colleges and universities are major private employers in all regions of New York State, according to a new economic analysis by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) released today by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).

As private employers, independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities provide 174,000 direct jobs with a payroll that exceeds $10.7 billion. In nine of the state’s counties, private higher education employment represents five percent or more of total employment and six percent or more of total wages. Further, in 2009 two of the top employers in New York State were private higher education institutions: Cornell University and University of Rochester.

In total, the 100-plus independent colleges and universities in New York State contributed $54.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2009. This is an increase of $6.8 billion (up 14%) since 2007 and more than $12.9 billion (up 31%) from 2005. In 2009, direct institutional spending was more than $46 billion and academic medical center spending more than $4.3 billion.

"This study reaffirms the critical role that independent colleges and universities play in the New York State economy. We know that the knowledge sector has become the focal point for 21st century innovation. What some may forget is that these campuses are significant private sector employers, too," said the researcher and CGR president Kent Gardner. "Educational institutions -- particularly independent colleges and universities -- also are significant contributors to their regional economies, attracting students (and their dollars) from other regions and states."

In Northern New York, Clarkson University, Paul Smith’s College and St. Lawrence University contribute an annual $563 million to the economy, including annual construction. Collectively, these three institutions are directly and indirectly responsible for an estimated 4,200 jobs and more than $208 million in payroll.

Download a Northern New York-specific summary here:

With more students than comparable sectors of higher education in California and Texas combined and more in-migration of first-time college students than any other state, New York’s independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities generate student and visitor spending of $3.9 billion annually.

"Independent colleges and universities have significant impact as anchor tenants providing a stabilizing effect on local economies, especially those hardest hit in Upstate New York," said CICU president Laura L. Anglin. "Additionally, students, faculty and staff also contribute significantly to community service activities, as well as research, innovation and entrepreneurship that directly drives economic development."

The release of these updated figures complements those released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli in October 2010. The Comptroller’s report, The Economic Impact of Higher Education in New York State, stated "New York has the largest private higher education sector in the nation, with 167,450 jobs in 2009 - more than 40 percent larger than second-ranked California." That report also noted that "Most of the growth in higher education employment this decade has been at private colleges and universities."

* * * * *

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor’s degrees (54%), master’s degrees (73%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (80%) earned in New York State.

CICU member campuses enroll more than 477,000 students, including nearly 300,000 New York State residents. One in three (27%) New Yorkers enrolled full time at independent colleges and universities in the state comes from a family earning less than $40,000 annually. And most (51%) African-American and Latino students who earn their bachelor’s and graduate degrees in New York State are Independent Sector alumni.

* * * * *

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

For more info, visit

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

Calendar View the full calendar >>

Full Calendar RSS Feed