ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany State University and Darton College together generated more than $267 million for the local community in fiscal year 2011, along with more than 3,000 jobs, says a report by the University System of Georgia.
The report, released on Tuesday, is the result of a study by University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth on the positive financial impact of Georgia colleges and universities on their host cities.
According to the report, total financial impact of the university system amounted to $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2011. That's a 5 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, 132,000 jobs were created by state schools in 2011, or more than 3 percent of all nonfarm jobs in Georgia.
The report found that two-year institutions and the system's three historically black colleges have played a big part in providing economic impact.
Albany State University generated $148 million along with 1,772 jobs.
"We're among the largest employers in Albany and we expect that ASU would have a great economic impact," Wakefield said. "Every year we get a new group of students who directly benefit this community because they spend money where they attend college. After graduation some elect to remain here."
Wakefield said that as the community is more involved with the campus, the university will attract more students who spend money locally.
Darton State College had an economic impact of $119.4 million, up 2.2 percent from $116.8 million in FY 2010, the university study showed. Total jobs created in 2011 were 1,481.
"We are grateful that during these difficult economic times, Darton State College can continue to have a positive financial impact on our community," said Tracy Goode, dean of Institutional Advancement and Public Relations. "We believe that Darton State College will continue to be a driving force behind our local economy."
Author of the study, Jeffrey M. Humphreys, was encouraged by the figures, saying colleges and universities had really proved their worth during tough economic times. Humphreys is director of the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth in the Terry College of Business.
According to the report, $3.7 billion, or 28 percent of the output impact, was created by "respending," or dollars spent again in the regions. For every dollar spent by an institution an estimated additional 39 cents was generated for the local economy.
The university study found that college-related spending creates many more jobs off the campus than it does on campus. On average, for each on-campus job, two off-campus jobs exists because of spending related to the institution.
The Selig Center analyzed financial and enrollment data for July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The report has been generated by the center since 1999.