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Stark News Details

Kent State University's $1.9 Billion Impact

Posted Mar. 5, 2010

To commemorate the university’s 2010 Centennial, Kent State University commissioned a comprehensive study to quantify the economic contribution of Kent State and to detail the role that the university plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers and improving quality of life in Northeast Ohio and the individual regions served by its eight-campus system. The findings of the economic impact report were released today.
“The graduates of Kent State University at Stark are connected to our region and eager to contribute their educa­tion and knowledge to improving the economy and quality of life of Northeast Ohio,” says Dr. Ruth C. Capasso, interim dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State Stark. “The 13 bachelor degrees offered on our cam­pus produce highly qualified individuals who positively impact on the workforce, furthering both the local and state economies.”
The report, titled “Prosperity By Degrees: The Economic Impact of Kent State University on Northeast Ohio,” examines Kent State as an investment and engine of growth and prosperity. The study reports that the universi­ty’s eight-campus system generates $1.96 billion in added income to the Northeast Ohio economy. This includes $1.6 billion attributed to raising the educational attainment and productivity of the workforce; $292 million in added income due to Kent State’s business, employment and research operations; and $64 million generated from Kent State attracting nonlocal students and visitors to the region.
Kent State Stark promotes economic growth and contributes to the vitality of both the local and state economies with a total economic impact of $129.5 million. Other key findings specific to the Stark Campus that are in the report include:

  • Kent State Stark stimulates economies. The largest and most important impact of the Stark Campus is the $114.6 million that stemmed from the productivity effects of alumni who live and work in Stark County.
  • Kent State Stark is a leading business enterprise. In Fiscal Year 2007–08, the Stark County economy received approximately $14.9 million in impacts due to Stark Campus operations. 
  • Kent State Stark helps communities reduce social costs. As a result of educational attainment by students at Kent State at Stark, the state of Ohio benefits from improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment and crime, saving the public an average of $3.5 million per year.

“Kent State takes great pride in our 196,000 alumni,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Our graduates leave the institution and enter the workforce armed with employer-valued skills, making immediate contribu­tions and leading successful careers. They also are assets to the region and individually make significant contri­butions to the quality of life we enjoy in Northeast Ohio.”
The report, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI), also documents Kent State’s research ef­forts, which make Kent State a major source of start-up companies and technology transfer. Kent State is ranked among the nation’s top 77 public research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. The university’s research activity generates jobs and economic innovation in Northeast Ohio while securing the university’s role as a national cultural and educational center.
“We are very proud of Kent State Stark’s contributions to Northeast Ohio and are committed to ensuring that this region will remain a great place to live, work and learn,” says Capasso.
To read the report, visit


About Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI)
The “Prosperity by Degrees” study was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI), a professional consulting firm that provides advanced economic modeling, data analysis, reports, Web-based tools and consulting to clients in higher education, workforce development, economic development and state and local government. The principal on the study was Kjell Christophersen, Ph.D., a senior economist with 30 years of experience in the United States and internationally in projects involving economic model­ing. To date, Christophersen has produced more than 700 socioeconomic impact studies in higher education in the United States and Canada.