CSU System generated almost $237.8M in revenue for Colorado, report says

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado State University System estimates its activities supported more than 22,800 jobs and generated $237.74 million in tax revenue for the state in 2019 between its two physical campuses and CSU Global.

In a report prepared by economists at CSU’s Fort Collins campus, graduates from one of the universities who live in Colorado likely pulled in an additional $2.9 billion in annual income by having a college degree versus entering the labor force with only a high school diploma. Overall, they estimate that CSU graduates across the state earned $7.57 billion in wages in 2019.

The report also specifically estimates that the flagship CSU campus generated more than $36 million in sales and use tax revenue from the university’s operations, business assistance and startups spun off from the institution in 2019. Within that $36 million figure, it estimates that students not from Fort Collins spent enough money to generate $7.9 million in tax revenue in the city through direct remittances and multiplier effects.

The authors estimated CSU Pueblo generated about $2.4 million for the city in tax revenue that year.

It’s not quite clear yet how exactly the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will affect the CSU System’s impact on local and state economic activity, but it’s likely that those effects will be conflicting.

In an interview with BizWest, study co-author Martin Shields said the loss of in-person students is a definite loss for the Fort Collins and Pueblo economies as it’s estimated that each student provides several hundreds of dollars of tax revenue directly each year.

If the pandemic causes fewer students to go across state lines for college in the future, that isn’t entirely a bad thing for Fort Collins and Pueblo. In that scenario, Shields said there would be more students coming from across the state to those cities to study, so while Colorado as a whole wouldn’t be getting dollars from out-state students, the cities hosting CSU campuses would get revenue from out-of-town students.

However, the pandemic isn’t a total financial loss for the system. The Fort Collins campus received about $407 million in research grants in 2020, the highest on record. Much of that increase is attributable to efforts to study the myriad of problems generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

That influx of spending means more hiring of graduate students and researchers, which partially offsets the loss of student-driven revenue. Shields also believes that the CSU System can turn this funding boost into a more permanent flow of research dollars if it works to establish itself as an infectious diseases hub.

“If the Biden Administration says that this isn’t the last pandemic we’re going to see, and we want to be better prepared for that, then CSU is well-positioned as a system, I think, to make significant contributions to those efforts,” he said.

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FORT COLLINS — The Colorado State University System estimates its activities supported more than 22,800 jobs and generated $237.74 million in tax revenue for the state in 2019 between its two physical campuses and CSU Global.

In a report prepared by economists at CSU’s Fort Collins campus, graduates from one of the universities who live in Colorado likely pulled in an additional $2.9 billion in annual income by having a college degree versus entering the labor force with only a high school diploma. Overall, they estimate that CSU graduates across the state earned $7.57 billion in wages in 2019.

The report also specifically estimates that the flagship CSU campus generated more than $36 million in sales and use tax revenue from the university’s operations, business assistance and startups spun off from the institution in 2019. Within that $36 million figure, it estimates that students not from Fort Collins spent enough money to generate $7.9 million in tax revenue in the city through direct remittances and multiplier effects.

The authors estimated CSU Pueblo generated about $2.4 million for the city in tax revenue that year.

It’s not quite clear yet how exactly the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will affect the CSU System’s impact on local and state economic activity, but it’s likely that those effects will be conflicting.

In an interview with BizWest, study co-author Martin Shields said the loss of in-person students is a definite loss for the Fort Collins and Pueblo economies as it’s estimated that each student provides several hundreds of…