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The iconic Memorial Bell Tower rises above the Northwest Missouri State University campus, which is the Missouri state arboretum. An economic impact study reports the University, including those who visit the arboretum and surrounding communities, generates $617.5 million in added regional income. (Photo by Darren Whitley/Northwest Missouri State University)

The iconic Memorial Bell Tower rises above the Northwest Missouri State University campus, which is the Missouri state arboretum. An economic impact study reports the University, including those who visit the arboretum and surrounding communities, generates $617.5 million in added regional income. (Photo by Darren Whitley/Northwest Missouri State University)

May 1, 2015

Economic impact study finds Northwest’s regional impact generates $617.5 million in income, jobs, taxpayer benefits

Read Northwest's economic impact study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International
Listen to audio from the news conference

Click here to listen to remarks from Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski, Maryville Mayor and business owner Renee Riedel, and Nodaway County Economic Director Josh McKim.

Northwest Missouri State University generated $617.5 million in added regional income – the equivalent of creating 9,465 jobs – in fiscal year 2014, according to a third-party study conducted on behalf of the institution and released to the public today.

The study, conducted by Idaho-based Economic Modeling Specialists International, investigates the economic impacts Northwest creates in the regional business community and the benefits the University generates in the state in return for investments by stakeholders.

“This study confirms what many of us who live and work in northwest Missouri have suspected for a long time – that Northwest Missouri State is an important economic driver throughout the region,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “We take tremendous pride in that role as well as our responsibility to taxpayers to be good financial stewards.”

Northwest, the study acknowledges, serves a unique area that encompasses four states and consists of 79 counties – an area referred to in the report as the “Green and White Circle.” Within that area, Northwest creates revenue through direct expenditures, students and visitors. Additional expenditures come from regional businesses whose economic activity increases as a result of the direct expenditures of the University, students and visitors.

The study addresses the impacts of new economic activity in the region that is attributable solely to Northwest through its day-to-day operations; the spending of out-of-region students; the spending of out-of-region visitors; and the human capital of former students employed in the regional workforce.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Operations spending impact: Northwest is a key employer in the region with 747 full-time and part-time faculty and staff employed during the fiscal year and 100 percent of those employees residing within the “Green and White Circle.” Additionally, the University’s total payroll of $55.3 million largely remains in the region to pay for groceries, eating out, clothing and other household expenses.
  • Student spending impact: While Northwest served an unduplicated headcount of 7,765 students throughout the fiscal year, the study reports about 26 percent of its students came from outside the region – adding economic impacts that would not be possible without Northwest. Students taking courses at Northwest spent $13.1 million on purchases such as groceries, rent and transportation, the study found.
  • Visitor spending impact: Northwest also annually attracts thousands of visitors from outside the region for events such as commencement ceremonies, athletics, concerts and theater performances. In doing so, visitors spend money on lodging, dining, transportation and other personal expenses. In fiscal year 2014, the off-campus expenditures of visitors to the region generated a net impact of $1 million in new income for the regional economy.
  • Human capital impact: The education and training Northwest provides for residents results in the greatest impact with an estimated 69 percent of former students remaining in the Green and White Circle. During fiscal year 2014, Northwest alumni generated $516.4 million in added income for the region.

Additionally, the study analyzes the ways Northwest benefits its graduates, the state of Missouri and taxpayers. The average bachelor’s degree earner at Northwest, for example, will earn $22,200 more per year than an individual who highest level of education is a high school diploma, the study reports.

Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel put emphasis on the report’s finding that Northwest students and visitors combine to bring more than $10 million in annual income to the region. That spending significantly supports local business and sales tax revenue, which is used to fund critical capital improvements and quality-of-life amenities such as Mozingo Lake Recreation Park.

“This third-party economic impact study confirms that Northwest Missouri State University is a significant economic engine driving Maryville, the state and region,” McDanel said. “The investment analysis performed in the report verifies that the benefit to students, society and taxpayers is staggering.”

Regional and state leaders also applauded the report, saying it demonstrates the value Northwest adds to the region and the benefits it creates for residents, businesses and government-supported services.

Nodaway County Economic Director Josh McKim said, “Northwest Missouri State University is vitally important to the long-term economic vitality of the region. As this economic impact report shows, the university plays a key role as a major employer but more importantly is instrumental in building the region’s human capital.”

Rep. Allen Andrews said, “The economic impact of Northwest Missouri State reaches far beyond a regional scope. Not only does the University generate over $617 million in regional income, but it positively influences and touches the lives of thousands of people all over the world. As an alumnus, I am proud to see Northwest’s continued unwavering commitment to excellence and purpose.”

Added Sen. Dan Hegeman, “We all know about Northwest Missouri State University’s importance to our region, the state and beyond. This study validates what we know and illustrates the value-add impact Northwest provides.”


About Northwest Missouri State University

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs on its Maryville campus and at outreach centers in Kansas City and St. Joseph. Northwest is ranked as the top moderately selective regional university in Missouri on U.S. News and World Report’s list of “2015 Best Colleges” and is one of only four four-year institutions in Missouri to meet all measures of the state’s performance-based funding initiative during the past three years. 

The University boasts a 59 percent graduation rate, which is about 20 percent higher than the national average. In addition, 98 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data.

Furthermore, its vibrant and diverse learning community offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468