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Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges & Universities’ Members Pump $1.58 Billion into Oregon’s Economy

By July 28, 2021 No Comments

TUALATIN – The annual economic impact to the State of Oregon from fourteen of its nonprofit, independent colleges and universities is $1.58 billion, according to a just completed study that used FY18 data.

“The nonprofit, independent higher education sector is a key driver in Oregon’s economy,” said Brent Wilder, President of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (The Alliance). “Collectively, our member institutions are economic engines in this state, serving as magnets attracting students and their families, alumni and tourists who spend money locally yet use minimal municipal services. Our members are large employers in their communities and collectively employ over 7,000 people statewide.”

Among the findings, fourteen independent nonprofit colleges and universities in Oregon:

  • generated a total impact on the Oregon economy of $1.58 billion representing a direct economic impact of $1.04 billion in direct institutional spending for employee spending, university purchases, capital expenditures, student, visitor, and alumni spending, as well as another nearly $543 million in induced spending.
  • created 13,637 jobs in Oregon in 2018 because of the economic activity generated by the sector.
  • contributed over $1.2 billion in alumni earnings to Oregon’s economy, which generated significant taxes and spending on the local level.
  • are magnets for students and visitors who spent nearly $304 million.
  • resulted in a cost savings of over $207 million to the state of Oregon in 2019.

“Oregon’s independent, nonprofit colleges and universities are hubs of commerce for the communities and regions that we call home. We offer world-class education to students from across the nation and globe, preparing our students to meet the needs of employers and our state’s economy,” said President Miles K. Davis of Linfield University and chair of The Alliance. “Our campuses are talent centers where knowledge is produced, where science is advanced, and where the arts contribute to the vibrancy of our cultural communities.”

The study was conducted by Mark Gius, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Quinnipiac University and The Alliance member institutions that are included in the study are as follows: Bushnell University, Corban University, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield University, Multnomah University, National University of Natural Medicine, Pacific Northwest College of Art (now a part of Willamette University), Pacific University, University of Portland, University of Western States, Warner Pacific University, Western Seminary, and Willamette University. For detailed information on the data and an explanation of Dr. Gius’s process, please visit OAICU’s 2018-2019 Economic Impact Report.

The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (“The Alliance”) is comprised of 13 private, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities in the state of Oregon. These institutions deliver high-quality experiential learning with high-impact teaching strategies. The Alliance is the collective voice of Oregon’s independent, nonprofit higher education sector. For more information, visit