Colleges and universities always have major, positive impacts on their local economies, and lasting impacts on their state economies.

As shown in recently released data, the University System of Georgia (USG) contributed a total of $19.3 billion to Georgia’s economy between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. This is a $700 million, or 3.8%, increase over the previous year.

East Georgia State College (EGSC), had a major impact, as well. EGSC contributed $63.9 million in fiscal year 2021.

“USG institutions and the system as a whole are key contributors to our state and are an economic engine for communities in every region of Georgia,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “That economic impact continues to climb, and we are grateful to Governor Brian Kemp and the General Assembly for their support of the university system, and public higher education, as we focus on increasing prosperity for the state and all Georgians.”

“EGSC has been a major driver to the local and state economy for nearly 50 years since its first graduating class in 1973. The multiplier effect of having a successful College in our community cannot be underestimated and we are thankful for the local support we have received over the years to keep us strong,” said David Schecter, President at East Georgia State College.

Additionally, Schecter said: “We currently have the lowest tuition and fees in the USG, so not only do we contribute considerably to the area, we do so at a cost that is affordable to all families. In terms of bang-for-buck, there may be no better deal around than a top-notch degree from our college.”

The study was conducted on behalf of USG by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D., director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The study also showed USG, over the same time period, generated 152,629 full- and part-time jobs across Georgia. East Georgia State College generated 652 of these jobs.

The $19.3 billion total system economic impact for fiscal year 2021 is up from $18.6 billion in fiscal year 2020. This included $13.1 billion in initial spending by students. It also included spending by USG’s 26 public colleges and universities on personnel and operating expenses.

The remaining $6.2 billion is the multiplier impact of those funds in a local community. Included in these amounts are $60.2 million in initial spending. It also included a $3.7 million multiplier impact by East Georgia State College and its students.

Included in the initial spending by the institutions are rounds of funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). These are federal funds that the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act allocates. These funds provided emergency grants for postsecondary education.

Of the 152,629 jobs generated by USG institutions, approximately 33% of the positions are on-campus jobs, and 67% are off-campus. The study found that for each job created by a USG institution on its campus, two additional jobs are created in the local community.

The full economic impact report is available at USG’s website. For more information, or to support the college, please contact Harley Smith at hdsmith@ega.edu.