Independent study: Campbell adds enormous economic value that benefits state, region

BUIES CREEK — Campbell University significantly increases the employability and lifetime income of its students and alumni, as well as adds income, opportunities and social savings that greatly benefit the region and North Carolina, according to a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of higher education in North Carolina.

During the 2012-13 fiscal year, Campbell had an impact of $452.4 million in the seven counties in central North Carolina it most directly serves: Harnett, Wake, Johnston, Cumberland, Lee, Durham and Chatham. That impact includes payroll, operations, the purchase of goods and services, start-up companies, and spending generated by students and alumni. Campbell’s total impact is the equivalent of creating 7,055 new jobs.

“Campbell University is one of the largest private employers in Harnett County,” said Campbell President Jerry Wallace. “With more than 700 full-time employees, 6,000 students on our campuses, and nearly 30,000 alumni in North Carolina, we knew we had an impact, but this study validates our value locally and across the state.”

In addition, every dollar Campbell students invest in their education translates in a return of $2.60 in higher future income. Cumulatively, they will receive a present value of $555 million in increased earnings over their working lives.

This pays off for North Carolina as a whole. The state will receive a present value of $2.7 billion in added state income over the course of the working lives of Campbell students who remain in North Carolina. The increased tax revenues and reduced demand for government-supported social services that comes from this will result in a social savings of at least $366.8 million in the North Carolina communities where Campbell students eventually reside. The social savings accounts for reduced crime, lower unemployment and increased health and well-being.

The study also reported that for every dollar that society spent on education at Campbell during FY2012-13, North Carolina communities will receive a cumulative value of $12.70 in benefits, for as long as Campbell’s 2012-13 students remain active in the state workforce.

“The economic benefits of a Campbell degree to our graduates represent the ability to lead a productive and self-sufficient life,” Wallace said. “Over 80 percent of our students and alumni call North Carolina home, and Campbell offers programs in the health sciences, business, law, medicine, pharmacy, education, divinity, and other disciplines that consumers demand and our state needs.”

The findings are derived from a study commissioned by the University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina Community College System and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), and conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). It is the first-ever multi-sector analysis of higher education’s impact on the state’s economy, and one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind ever done for a single state. Data and assumptions used are based on 2012-13 academic and financial reports from the higher education institutions, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, and additional sources.

Campbell is one of the 36 members of NCICU, which together enroll almost 90,000 students from around the world, generated a combined $14.2 billion in added state income. This includes more than $4 billion in payroll and benefits for 66,309 full-time and part-time employees and $6.8 billion on goods and services to carry out their day-to-day operations, research, and clinical activities. The rest comes from construction and the spending of their students, visitors, start-up companies, and alumni, which in turn creates more spending and employment across the state. The added state income, or additional Gross State Product, of $14.2 billion created by NCICU’s institutions is equal to approximately 3.2 percent of the total Gross State Product of North Carolina, and is equivalent to creating 219,590 new jobs.

The study was funded by the North Carolina Business Higher Ed Foundation, the NC Community Colleges Foundation, the University of North Carolina system, and NCICU campuses, including Campbell.

The full report on the economic impact of NCICU members can be found here.

Below is a closer look at how Campbell benefits students, the region, North Carolina and taxpayers.

Benefits to students

“[Campbell] enriches the lives of students by increasing their employability and raising their lifetime incomes.”

Students who attended Campbell during FY2012-13 paid $77.7 million to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies.

In return for this money they invested, they will receive a present value of $555 million increased earning over their working lives.

This translates to a return of $2.60 in higher future income for every $1 students invest in their education. The average annual return for students is 11.6 percent.

Benefits to the region

“[Campbell] benefits the region by increasing consumer spending and supplying a steady flow of workers in the labor force.”

In FY2012-13, Campbell created $452.4 million in added regional income to the Campbell Service Area economy, defined as Harnett, Wake, Johnson, Cumberland, Lee, Durham and Chatham counties. (“Added regional income” is the equivalent to Campbell’s economic impact, which includes the university’s operations and construction spending as well as the spending of its students, visitors and alumni.)

This is the equivalent to creating 7,055 new jobs and accounts for approximately 0.4 percent of the total Gross Regional Product of the Campbell Service Area.

Benefits to the state and society

“[Campbell] benefits North Carolina as a whole by creasing a more prosperous economy and generating savings through the improved lifestyles of students.”
North Carolina will receive a present value of $2.7 billion in added state income over the course of Campbell students’ working lives.

Communities in the state will also benefit from $366.8 million in present value social savings related to reduced crime, lower unemployment and increased health and well-being across the state.

For every dollar that society spends on education Campbell provides, North Carolina communities are expected to receive a cumulative value of $12.70 in benefits.

Benefits to taxpayers

“[Campbell] benefits state and local taxpayers by increasing tax receipts and reducing the demand for government-supported social services.”

The net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from higher student incomes and increased business output will amount to $264.2 million in benefits to taxpayers.

Savings to the public sector will add another $64.9 million in benefits due to a reduced demand for government-funded services in North Carolina.