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The University of Nebraska System: A $5.8 billion annual economic engine for the state@headingTag>
For over 150 years, the University of Nebraska has served the citizens of the state through high-quality, affordable education; research that improves quality of life; and engagement with citizens in every county. Thanks to its partnership with the state and support from the private sector, the university has been successful in fulfilling its responsibility to Nebraskans.
Today the University of Nebraska is in a strong position to help grow Nebraska for the future. The NU System’s four campuses are major economic drivers, providing almost 11,000 graduates annually for the workforce, conducting and commercializing innovative research, delivering high-quality clinical care and leveraging partnerships to attract talent and create jobs. The university also contributes to a thriving arts and cultural community in Nebraska.
The university engaged Tripp Umbach, a leading national consultant, to conduct an independent analysis of the University of Nebraska’s impact on the state’s economic and social vitality. Tripp Umbach’s analysis demonstrates that the university’s impact is significant and far-reaching. The NU System’s academic activities have an annual impact of $5.8 billion on Nebraska’s economy, and the university supports 1 out of every 27 jobs in the state.
In addition, 1 out of every 7 working-age Nebraskans has a University of Nebraska degree. The accumulated impact of former students grow the state’s earning power by nearly $2.9 billion annually. This puts Nebraskans in a stronger position to hold good jobs, support their families and contribute to their communities.
Beyond the data, the university touches virtually every Nebraskan. It may be through providing an opportunity for a first-generation student to earn a degree, providing care for a cancer patient, supporting an aspiring entrepreneur, or advancing agricultural productivity. The University of Nebraska plays a vital role in the state’s economic success and quality of life, helping Nebraska to be successful.
“This new analysis is the latest confirmation that the University of Nebraska is one of the largest drivers of economic and individual growth in our state. The numbers alone are powerful, demonstrating the remarkable return we provide on Nebraskans’ investment."
"When we factor in the cutting-edge research we conduct to improve lives around the world, the outreach we perform in every corner of the state, and the transformational education we provide to 52,000 students every year, it’s clear that the state of Nebraska cannot prosper without its public university.”
“A 9-to-1 return on investment is an impressive result for Nebraska taxpayers. From my chair, the University of Nebraska has been a responsible and forward-thinking steward of its resources. These findings demonstrate that the University of Nebraska has been able to turn Nebraskans’ investment into impact that extends to every corner of the state – rural and urban alike, from my district in Western Nebraska all the way east.”
“The takeaway from this report couldn’t be any more clear: Investment in higher education pays off big-time for the State of Nebraska. Not only does the University of Nebraska turn every dollar it receives into growth for the state, but it transforms the lives of our next generation of leaders in so many ways that we can’t fully quantify.”
“When it comes to our state’s most important industry, agriculture, the University of Nebraska is an invaluable partner. The university provides innovative research to support our farmers and ranchers, educates the agricultural workforce of the future, and serves families in every county through Extension and outreach. We are fortunate to have a partner whose investment in agriculture is helping grow our state.”
"Workforce is our generational challenge. We all need to work together to bring solutions, but no single entity in the state brings the scale and scope of the University of Nebraska. We know intuitively, and this report confirms, that a strong and growing university is vital to building the workforce Nebraska needs to stay competitive."
2021 Economic Impact Report
This is the third time that the university has engaged Tripp Umbach, a leading national consultant with expertise in economic impact studies, to conduct an independent analysis of the University of Nebraska’s impact. Studies have been done every three years.
Tripp Umbach’s analysis demonstrates that the university’s economic and social impact is significant and far-reaching. The analysis was presented on February 11 to the NU Board of Regents, and details the NU System’s impact by campus, region and legislative district.
You can read the full report, the Board presentation, and a one-pager below.
Economic Impact News and Media Mentions
Discover Our Podcast Series
“Leading Nebraska” tells the stories of researchers, students and staff who are making an impact. Join us as we follow Ted Carter, president of the University of Nebraska. He talks about how Nebraska was one of the only university systems in the country to grow during the pandemic—and how that growth impacts the state’s economy and success.
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