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Ohio's Public Universities Boosts the State Economy by about $42 Billion

photo of Inter-University Council presentation
Bruce Johnson with the Inter-University Council says taxpayers see a more than 8 percent return on university funding.

A coalition of public universities is touting a study that says income from schools, their students and alumni adds up to $42 billion pumped into the state’s economy.

The Inter-University Council of Ohio says a public university student ends up making more than $4 for every $1 spent on tuition.

The group’s Bruce Johnson highlights that state taxpayers see a more than 8 percent return on investment for funding public universities. And Johnson says the state sees the biggest losses when money goes to a student who ends up dropping out, so he’s arguing for increased funding in specific areas.

“Make it easier for the students who are most financially at risk. If their car breaks down or they had a hard time making rent last month, all of the sudden they drop out and they don’t come back, and those are the students that need the most support,” he said.

Sen. Randy Gardner, a Bowling Green Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee, says this will be an important study to keep in mind as the lawmakers reevaluate college funds.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.