WGU Details Economic Impact

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A study commissioned by WGU Indiana suggests the school's students and graduates will generate $550 million in added income over their working lives. The report from Economic Modeling Specialists International also says, in that time, output from graduates will generate more than $40 million in added tax revenue from the state.

March 5, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- WGU Indiana released its first economic impact report today which cited a projection of $550 million in added income in Indiana over the working lives of WGU Indiana students and graduates. The report also shows a 19.4% return on investment yielding a return of $3.20 in future income for every dollar WGU students invest in their education.

“The substantial return on investment Hoosiers are receiving through WGU’s non-profit model is a huge win for our state. The contribution WGU is making to Indiana’s economy without receiving any taxpayer dollars to operate is truly impressive,” said Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

In addition to the $550 million in added future income for WGU students, the report also indicates that output from WGU graduates will generate $41.7 million in added tax revenue for the State of Indiana. In FY 2013, WGU Indiana students and their employers created $4.5 million in new income attributable to the online university. Expected enrollment growth over the next five years is projected to equal $35 million in added state income of WGU students by 2017-2018.

“Most adults who return to college do so to position themselves for the economic opportunity that comes with earning a college degree,” said Dr. Allison Barber, chancellor of WGU Indiana. “Our goal has always been to add significant value to the lives and earning potential of our students, and this report is evidence that we’re making progress.”

Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) compiled WGU Indiana’s Economic Impact Report. The group examined WGU Indiana’s impact on the state since the university’s inception in Indiana in 2010. EMSI also modeled its impact into the future. With more than 4,000 students, WGU Indiana continues to provide flexible and affordable education to individuals across Indiana and a substantial positive impact on Hoosier society. The nonprofit university does not receive state taxpayer funding to operate.

About WGU Indiana

WGU Indiana is the state’s nonprofit, online university established by former Governor Mitch Daniels to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. Using a competency-based model that allows students to accelerate at their own pace and curriculum developed with input from leading employers, WGU Indiana offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Education, Information Technology and Healthcare Professions, including Nursing. WGU Indiana has awarded 2,100 degrees and has more than 4,200 students currently enrolled. In 2012, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education recognized WGU Indiana and its Reaching Higher, Achieving More agenda for its excellence in academic quality. The university was also recognized as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2013. In 2014, WGU’s secondary teacher preparation program ranked first among 2,400 schools for quality by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

Source: WGU Indiana