ISU has nearly $400 million annual impact on local, state economies

May 17 2006

Indiana State University is a significant economic engine for the Wabash Valley and the State of Indiana with an annual impact of nearly $400 million, a new study indicates.
The December 2005 men's basketball game between ISU and Indiana drew a crowd of more than 10,000 fans.

The results of the independent study, completed by the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, were announced Wednesday during the Indiana Humanities Council Western Indiana Regional Forum on ISU's campus.

"Indiana State is one of the area's largest employers with a residential population that exceeds many of the surrounding communities. In 2004-05, the university pumped $392 million into the local and statewide economies, money which became income for both area residents and businesses," said Kevin J.G. Snider, executive assistant to the president for strategic planning, institutional research and effectiveness.

The impact represents a nearly five-fold return on the state's investment in the university, Snider added.

"For every dollar the legislature appropriated to Indiana State University, the community and state received a return of $4.74," said Snider.

The study showed that Indiana State is directly and indirectly responsible for 5,385 jobs. The university employs 2,785 full and part-time workers and indirectly supports another 2,600 jobs through its operations and activities. The university's payroll for 2004-05 was $108.4 million with another $57.9 million in compensation for the indirect jobs related to the university's operations.

The annual Blue & White parade and other Homecoming activities bring thousands of alumni and other visitors to the ISU campus and Terre Haute each fall.
"In addition to its educational mission, Indiana State University serves as the cultural center and a major driver for tourism in the Wabash Valley. The visitors to our campus stay in local hotels, eat in area restaurants, buy gas at local service stations and shop in Terre Haute retail outlets," said Snider.

The study indicated that an estimated 184,000 visitors came to ISU during
2004-05 to attend events ranging from Division I athletics, touring Broadway productions, internationally recognized speakers, academic conferences, art exhibits, the Contemporary Music Festival, Terre Haute Symphony performances, student activities, theatrical performances, concerts, alumni events and other activities.

The visitors spent an estimated $27.6 million while visiting the Indiana State campus and Terre Haute.

Each year, the university also provides the community and state with a skilled pool of more than 1,800 graduates ready to enter the workforce. Most of Indiana State's graduates remain in Indiana. Indiana State graduates work in nearly every sector of the economy illustrating the university's role in meeting the state's demand for an educated and skilled workforce, Snider added.

Provost Jack Maynard noted the impact of higher education on an individual's lifetime earnings as indicated in the study.

A January 2005 concert at Hulman Center by country singer Brad Paisley was a near sellout.
"Indiana State University graduates enjoy an enhanced standard of living compared to Indiana residents who do not pursue higher education. To put it simply, going to college is worth it," Maynard said.

On average, individuals in Indiana who earn a bachelor's degree will earn 47 percent more over the course of their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. Earnings for those with advanced degrees are another 20 percent higher for males and 36 percent higher for females over those with a bachelor's degree.

University President Lloyd W. Benjamin III noted the report also found ISU devotes a substantial part of its efforts to working in the local community, the state and beyond.

"I am proud of the economic impact Indiana State University has on the region and the state. However, I am even more proud of the engagement activities outlined in the report. Solving problems for area business and industry, providing free immunizations and physicals and building a Habitat home for a single mother and her children are just a few of the examples of the impact a university can have on its community. The collective efforts of our students, faculty, staff and alumni positively impact countless lives in ways that numbers simply cannot relate," Benjamin said.

The report details the work being done to promote economic development and improve the public education, health and welfare of the Wabash Valley region, through a number of centers and programs. Indiana State University students, faculty and staff provide assistance to individuals, non-profit agencies, school corporations and companies.

Click here for the report: ISU's economic impact.


Contact:Kevin J.G. Snider, executive assistant to the president for strategic planning, institutional research and effectiveness, (812) 237-7778 or

Writer:Teresa Exline, special assistant to the president for strategic communications and university spokesperson, (812) 237-3783 or

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Story Highlights

A new study says Indiana State University's annual impact on the economy of the Terre Haute area and the state is nearly $400 million. The study by the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, found that for every dollar the legislature appropriated to ISU, the community and state received a return of $4.74.

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