Wright State University adds $2.3 billion annually to the region’s economy and supports nearly 28,000 jobs through its operational and research expenditures, a May 2023 economic impact study found.
Wright State supplies a steady flow of qualified, trained workers to the workforce and improves the quality of life in Ohio, with nearly 90% of graduates remaining in Ohio — the highest of any public institution in the state, according to the report.
“The university plays a key role in helping students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential,” the report’s authors said.
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“The university facilitates new research developments and draws visitors and students to the region, generating new dollars and opportunities for Raider Country.
Wright State provides students with the education, training and skills they need to have fulfilling and prosperous careers.
Its student and employee volunteers support the regional economy through the output and employment generated by regional businesses and organizations.”
Wright State supports one out of every 42 jobs in Raider Country, the 16 counties in western Ohio anchored by Wright State’s Dayton and Lake campuses.
The study analyzed data from fiscal year 2021-22. It was conducted by Lightcast, formerly Emsi Burning Glass, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners and regional developers in the United States and internationally.
Lightcast also conducted a related study for Ohio’s 14 public universities for the Inter-University Council of Ohio.
Over the last five years, Wright State’s economic impact has increased by more than 53%. In a similar study analyzing data from fiscal year 2016-17, Lightcast found Wright State added $1.5 billion annually to the region’s economy and supported more than 20,000 jobs.
Wright State employed 2,075 full-time and part-time individuals to support its daily operations in fiscal year 2021–22, 90% of whom lived in Raider Country.
Total payroll was $168.9 million, much of which was spent locally for groceries, mortgages or rent; dining out; and other household expenses.
In addition, the university spent $77.4 million on its day-to-day expenses for facilities, supplies and professional services.
Furthermore, Wright State spent $10.4 million on payroll to support research activities, creating a net total of $21.7 million in added income for the regional economy.
In return for their educational investment, Wright State students will receive higher future earnings that will continue to grow during their working lives.
For every dollar students invest in Wright State in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they receive a cumulative value of $7.10 in higher future earnings.
The average Wright State bachelor’s degree graduate will annually earn $28,100 more than someone with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Ohio.
Over a working lifetime, the benefits of a bachelor’s degree over a high school diploma will amount to $1.2 million in higher earnings per graduate.
While attending Wright State, relocated and retained students spent money on groceries, accommodations, transportation and other household needs, generating $23.9 million in added income to the region. The work of Wright State student and employee volunteers generated $561,100 in added income in the region.
Thousands of visitors from outside the region come to Wright State to attend commencement, sporting events and other university-sponsored activities.
They spend money on lodging, food, transportation and other personal expenses. Visitors’ off-campus expenditures generated a net impact of $7.5 million for the regional economy.
Wright State graduates enter the regional workforce with greater knowledge and new skills and, as a result of their education at Wright State, receive higher earnings and increase the productivity of the businesses that employ them.
More than 67,000 alumni, or about 56% of Wright State graduates, make their living in Raider Country. In FY 2021-22, Wright State alumni generated $2.1 billion in added income for the regional economy.
For every dollar invested in Wright State, people in Ohio will receive a cumulative value of $14.50 in benefits — savings generated by students’ improved lifestyles and a corresponding reduction in government expenditures on health care, the justice system, unemployment benefits and other social services.
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Over the last 50-plus years, Wright State University has evolved from a small branch campus into today’s powerful economic engine, with more than 120,000 alumni around the world. We are making a difference in the lives of your family, your community and your region.