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CSU's impact tops $50 billion

September 9, 2005

Image of the state of California showing the locations of the 23 campuses of the CSU systemSFSU welcomed its largest freshman class in history this semester, and larger numbers of first-time freshmen over the past few years have begun to change the character of the campus. But it's not just the campus that will feel the impact of these 3,169 freshmen -- so will the Bay Area economy, and eventually, the entire state.

According to a report commissioned by the California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office, the 23-campus CSU system has an annual $53 billion impact on California. The figure represents the combined total annual economic impact of CSU expenditures, the enhanced earnings of its graduates and the indirect effect both have on the state.

For every $1 the state invests in the CSU system, the CSU returns $4.41 -- a four-fold return. That doesn't take into account enhanced earnings by graduates.

Annual spending by SFSU accounts for $989 million of the total, leading to more than 13,000 Bay Area jobs and generating nearly $53 million per year in tax revenue, according to the report. The enhanced earnings attributed to SFSU alumni reach nearly $2 billion a year.

Photo of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed"CSU's well-educated graduates help to attract, retain and develop the companies that are leading California’s economy into the future," CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said. "An investment in the CSU is an investment in California."

Dollar amounts don't tell the whole story, however.

The CSU system is one of the main engines fueling California's knowledge-based economy. Its campuses send tens of thousands of job-ready graduates every year to such fields as engineering, life sciences, business, technology, education and media. The CSU awards 51 percent of all bachelor's degrees and 40 percent of all master's degrees earned in California. The result is that one in every ten members of California's workforce is a CSU graduate -- many the first in their family to earn a college degree.

In addition, the CSU contributes to the cultural and civic life of the state. Because its campuses are located throughout the state, from Humboldt to San Diego, the CSU provides widely available and varied offerings -- many that are free -- in sports, arts, culture and entertainment. Faculty and staff lend expertise to local and state government and nonprofit organizations. Each year CSU students contribute 35 million hours of community service.

For more on the CSU system's contribution to California, see the CSU Impact Web site.

-- William Morris


San Francisco State University

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Last modified September 9, 2005 by University Communications