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Stan State releases study on institution’s economic impact on region
CSUS grad
Of the 65,000 Stanislaus State alumni, graduates are contributing to approximately 6,979 jobs in the region for an estimated $529.4 million in total earnings or increased business impact, according to a report released Friday (Journal file photo).

How much does Stanislaus State’s existence impact Turlock and surrounding region? The answer to this question was answered early Friday morning as the campus hosted its Economic Impact Breakfast, which highlighted findings from a new, two-part regional study.

The study, titled “The Economic Value of California State University, Stanislaus,” was co-authored by economist Anna Kolesnikova of global analytics company Lightcast and was based off data from the 2021-2022 fiscal year using the school’s alumni database and information from the United States Department of Labor. The most significant statistic presented by Kolesnikova was that Stan State had an overall $770.5 million regional economic impact on its six-county service region of Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. It's a figure that Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn stressed throughout the presentation.

“The total economic impact, which is the hard part you have to wrap your head around, is that our campus generates almost three quarters of a billion dollars every year,” Junn said. “You pass by our calm and quiet little campus every day and think, ‘Oh, well there’s Stan State. It’s a busy intersection, no big deal,’ but no it’s a really big deal. I think many people often understand that a university is right here on Monte Vista… but I think many people don’t understand the truly, significant economic impact that a university has.”

According to Kolesnikova, there are over 65,000 living Stan State alumni, with the large total mainly due to the fact that the school has had graduating classes of over 3,000 students in the past six years. Of the 65,000 alumni, graduates are contributing to approximately 6,979 jobs in the region for an estimated $529.4 million in total earnings or increased business impact.

This academic year, there are 12,876 students enrolled at Stan State, with 1 in 8 coming from outside of the school’s six-county service region. The report estimates that current students spend a combined $80.2 million on tuition, supplies and living costs. Kolesnikova explained that the figure is dwarfed by the estimated future earnings that come with acquiring work with a California State University degree. According to the report, most individuals who graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Stan State combine for $973.6 million in career earnings – a 12:1 benefit to cost ratio per each student.

With more graduates finding work with higher wages, Kolesnikova also pointed out that California residents will also reap the rewards of their taxpayer money funding Stan State, a public university.

“Cost to taxpayers appear in the form of state and local funding,” she said. “Since Stan State students will be making more money due to their education, they will also be paying more in taxes. Additionally, since the businesses they work for will be more productive, those businesses will also be paying more in taxes because of the increased output.”

Last academic year, Stan State received $189.6 million in state funding. The report estimates that $444.4 million in future tax revenue will be generated, which is good enough for 4% rate on return.

To support Stanislaus State’s over 12,000 students and daily campus operations, there are 1,316 employees (including student-workers) contributing $221 million to the total regional income. The institution itself also directly contributed $1.73 million in research funds and an additional $100,000 in volunteerism (charity) to the community and local economy.

“This study clearly demonstrates the compelling impact Stanislaus State has made in several areas by contributing millions of dollars to our city, counties and the region.” Junn said. “The data from this report can serve as an important tool in recruiting students, as it also shows how the campus has played a role in their upward mobility and demonstrates the University’s contributions to the economic vitality of the Central Valley.”

The entire 101-page report can be found at