May 14, 2010

New CSU Study Shows Sonoma State University Pumps $330 Million into Regional Economy

Sonoma State University and its alumni have a high-magnitude economic impact on its Bay Area region according to a recent study commissioned by the California State University System.

The study - titled "Working for California: The Impact of the California State University System" - found that SSU, as part of the 23-campus California State University system, contributed the following:

• Annual spending related to SSU ($213 million) generates a total impact of nearly $330 million on the regional economy and more than $376 million on the statewide economy. That spending includes: Out-of-Region Student Spending: $23.8 million; Auxiliary (bookstore, food services): $9.6 million; Capital (construction, improvements): $42 million; and Operations (salaries, services): $137.6 million.

• This impact sustains more than 2,500 jobs in the region and statewide more than 3,200 jobs.

• Per year, the impact generates $19 million in local and $21.4 million in statewide tax revenue.

• More than $941.5 million of the earnings by alumni from SSU are attributable to their CSU degrees, which creates an additional $1.6 billion of industry activity throughout the state.

The study details the significant contributions that the CSU makes to California including preparing the state's highly skilled workforce, providing multiple paths of access for students, training leaders for burgeoning "green" industry jobs, and creating products and services through research and innovation.

It was conducted by ICF International, and is based on 2008 data for operational, capital, auxiliary and student expenditures. It describes the economic impact of CSU campuses on eight different regions throughout California, as well as their technological, social and environmental contributions.

The study underscores the idea that the state's dynamic, knowledge-based economy can be directly tied to the investment in world-class public higher education.

An update to a similar report conducted in 2004, it was presented to the CSU Board of Trustees on May 10. The major findings include:

• The CSU system generates more than $17 billion in economic activity statewide and supports more than 150,000 jobs

• CSU-related expenditures create a return on investment of $5.43 for every $1 the state invests.

• In 2006-07, the CSU awarded half of all the bachelor's degrees statewide and one-third of all the master's degrees statewide.

• The CSU graduates more than half of the state's newly credentialed teachers and 60 percent of nurses statewide.

• Fifty percent or more of the state's Filipino, Latino, and African-American university graduates earned their degrees from the CSU.

"A CSU education is clearly an investment that pays for itself year after year for both the individual and the state," remarked CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "The CSU's 2.5 million alumni are the educators, engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of today. Current CSU students are the educated workforce and leaders of tomorrow."

On an annual basis, the study says that CSU campuses confer 71,000 bachelor's degrees, nearly half of all bachelor's degrees awarded by the state's public and private universities. In business, 54 percent of undergraduate degrees granted in California are from the CSU. In agriculture, it is 62 percent and in engineering it is 45 percent.

Detailed information about the new economic impact report is available at

A PDF fact sheet for SSU specifically can be found at:

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057