College Association Charts Statewide Impact

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (LAICU) recently commissioned an economic impact study, assessing how ten regionally accredited nonprofit private colleges and universities have helped Louisiana grow.

Based on data from the 2016 (2015 through 2016) fiscal year, the study revealed that statewide, the schools create more than 27,100 private sector jobs and produce over $2.64 billion in annual economic impact.

According to the LAICU, in the greater New Orleans region alone, its ten members generate approximately $2.52 billion in annual economic activity; and approximately $892 million in household earnings. 

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They are also responsible for a total of 25,880 private sector jobs, the organization says.

The ten LAICU members include are Dillard University, Loyola University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Saint Joseph Seminary College, Tulane University, University of Holy Cross, Xavier University of Louisiana, Centenary College of Louisiana,  Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, and Louisiana College.

“Not-for-profit, private entities attract and develop both talent and a workforce for greater New Orleans and for Louisiana, which is of course, a big matter for companies and their business investments,” said Stanton McNeely, the president and CEO of Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. “Also, as private entities, they generate private sector jobs, jobs around their campuses, and jobs throughout the city. The third thing is that they draw research investments for health, for science, for the bio-district, and others.”

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McNeely claimed that the collection of colleges train more than 20% of the STEM workers in Louisiana.

The LAICU’s research also revealed that the presence of their institutions generates more than $49,300,000 worth of newly produced output and over $16,200,000 in income. It supports 463 jobs the greater New Orleans region by attracting students and visitors from outside Louisiana.

Of the 26,000 students enrolled in these higher-education institutions, about 10,000 are from Louisiana. Nearly 16,000 scholars arrive from other parts of the country.

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McNeely said the LAICU launched the study and released its findings to show that its ten members are a “win” for the Greater New Orleans area, and also the state of Louisiana.

“If we look at the recent history in New Orleans, (the colleges) were key in the recovery of the city and recovery of neighborhoods, following (Hurricane) Katrina,” said McNeely, citing Xavier University’s efforts to bring back businesses in the Carrollton Corridor, and Dillard University's role in helping Gentilly rebuild. “They were incubators of recovery.” 

The study was conducted by Fred Rodgers, the director of Institutional Research at Alfred University in New York. He used basic financial, employment, and student enrollment data, combined with federal estimates of the appropriate regional and industry input-output multipliers, to describe major parts of the economic impact of the LAICU member institutions.


By Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur, Biz New Orleans associate news editor

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