As the excitement builds for the transformation of the south campus and the pending arrival of a new freshman class, a new study shows that Aurora University continues to make significant contributions throughout its surrounding communities. The report finds that AU annually contributes more than $340 million to the Chicago area economy, up from $325 million when a similar study was conducted in 2011, fiscal year. The increase can be attributed to additional business activity, construction, higher alumni earnings and the social benefits associated with a college education.
Additionally, the university employed 365 people on the Aurora campus and supported employment opportunities for another 955 new jobs in Chicagoland.
Other highlights of the report include:
- AU contributes more than $115 million to the Kane County economy, an increase of 5% percent, and more than $51 million to the Aurora economy alone.
- AU employees, students and visitors directly add $17.1 million in spending to the local economy. Secondary business spending brings the total spending impact to $44 million.
- An AU graduate in the Chicago area with a bachelor's degree earns $19,815 more than someone with a high school diploma, while alumni with master's degrees earn $25,343 more than someone with an undergraduate degree. Collectively, alumni earnings add $187 million to the regional economy.
- AU contributes $109 million in social benefits to the economy, such as reduced crime, incarceration, unemployment and welfare expenditures, according to the study.
Additionally, the report estimates that the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School will contribute $6.4 million to the Aurora area during the 2014-2015 academic year. The project will bring about economic activity (i.e., increasing property values and sales tax revenue) and grant funding and have a positive effect on the lifetime earnings of its students.
For more information, read the full Economic Impact Study.