Anderson University President Dr. Evans P. Whitaker today celebrated the release of a groundbreaking new study that finds a consortium of Christian colleges and universities in the United States generates more than $60 billion in economic impact each year - equivalent to $166 million generated per day for the U.S. economy.
"The report clarifies what we at Anderson University have long believed - that not only is there a place for Christian higher education in today's society, but that institutions like AU are an important part of the national economy and have an enormous positive impact on our culture, community and society as a whole," Dr. Whitaker said.
The study, completed by Philadelphia-based consulting firm Econsult Solutions and commissioned by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), calculates the impact on the national economy of its 142 Christian colleges and universities across the country. AU is a proud member of CCCU, and Dr. Whitaker serves on its Board of Directors.
CCCU-member schools collectively educate 445,000 students, employ 72,000 faculty and staff and serve 3.5 million alumni around the world.
"Christian colleges and universities provide a unique and valuable place for students to discern their vocation through the study of their chosen discipline," CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra said. "The results from this report are powerful, and illuminate a bright future for Christian higher education."
The report comes at a time when higher education is under heavy scrutiny for its value proposition, and Whitaker said Christian colleges and universities like AU represent a significant return on investment, not only through their direct economic impact, but also by affecting peoples' lives for society's benefit.
"Like our CCCU peers, AU students, faculty, staff and alumni are committed to their community and represent a positive force for society's welfare," Dr. Whitaker said. "I am profoundly grateful to the AU family for its dedication to making the world a better place spiritually, culturally and economically."
Key Findings from Report:
CCCU institutions are responsible for more than $60 billion in economic impact each year.
For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions provide $5 in aid to that student through grants and scholarships.
The student loan default rate for graduates from CCCU institutions (6.3%) is nearly half the national average (11.5%).
Even though they are tax exempt, CCCU institutions still generate $9.7 billion in federal tax revenue each year. For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions generate more than $20 in federal tax revenue.
1 in 3 CCCU students are first-generation college students.
50% of CCCU students come from families that make less than $50,000 per year.
While approximately one in four college students across the country volunteer, more than one in three CCCU students participate in community service while enrolled. CCCU students perform an estimated 5.4 million community service hours per year.
For additional information and to access the full report, visit cccu.org/economic-impact/.