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University Presidents say their institutions give the economy a lift

Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- They claim they are as big as any other major employer in Michigan. A new study commissioned by university presidents to demonstrate that the state’s 15 public colleges have a 24-billion dollar economic impact on the state.

In fact the report, compiled by the Anderson Group breaks it down from county to county so lawmakers can look up their own districts the next time they take up the higher education budget.

WMU Spokesperson Cheryl Roland says this study shows their impact is around half a billion, but their own study conducted two years ago, showed their economic impact was over 800-million dollars annually.

What can’t be measured is the impact their degreed graduates have with their higher earning potential and greater productivity.

It’s part of an ongoing argument over budgeted allocations for the schools.