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Study Finds ULM Contributes $567 Million Annually To NELA Economy

Emerald McIntire
ULM Photo Services

A recent study found the University of Louisiana Monroe contributed $566.8 million to the Northeast Louisiana* economy in Fiscal Year 2017-2018.

Conducted for ULM by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), the compelling study shows how the university is unmatched in its positive impact to the students, the region and the state. The university supports a variety of businesses and it benefits society as an economic driver, among other contributions.

“The fabric of Northeast Louisiana is woven through with the economic fiber created by the university,” said President Dr. Nick J. Bruno.  “It would be difficult to imagine the Northeast Louisiana economy without the almost 1,000 employees and 10,000 students who live here and spend money here.”

ULM supports more than 10,000 jobs, and one out of every 18 jobs in Northeast Louisiana is supported by the activities of the university and the students, according to the study.

The study includes an investment analysis evaluating benefits to students, taxpayers and society. For every dollar students invest in a university education, they will see a return of $4.60 per dollar in lifetime earnings. Taxpayers will gain $7.10 in added tax revenue and public sector savings. Finally, society gains $13.90 in added state revenue and social savings.

Those with a bachelor’s degree from ULM will see an average increase in earnings of $19,400 each year over someone with only a high school diploma working in Louisiana,

 “It is easy to think of ULM as ‘those buildings over there,’” said Bruno. “I ask you to really think about who are in those buildings – thousands of students, faculty and staff. According to this study, the daily spending of those people amounts to over $25 million in added income to the region.”

“ULM benefits Northeast Louisiana in so many ways that people either don’t know about or they don’t consider, especially economically,” Bruno said. “For example, the alumni generate another $427 million in added income to the region.”

The study confirmed that ULM benefits Northeast Louisiana with increased economic prosperity and improved lifestyles, including reduced dependence on government services, less crime and improved health.  

On the topic of health care and the economy, construction is underway now on the ULM campus for the anticipated Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM). The medical school will accept its first class of med students in 2020 and expects a graduating class in 2024. The predicted economic impact from VCOM is $60-$70 million annually. 

Having a medical school at ULM will lead to more students enrolling in the pre-med sciences. These and other courses must be maintained and grow in order to meet the needs of pre-med students.

*Northeast Louisiana consists of Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Carroll parishes.