Purdue University Northwest’s impact on the Region may be larger than most residents realize.
Besides directly employing 1,100 people, between the money PNW spends on operations, construction, research and student spending, the college’s economic impact on the Region is estimated at $745.9 million, according to a study by Emsi Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm. The study also found PNW supports 10,494 jobs in Lake, Porter and La Porte counties.
“The results of this study further confirm PNW’s role as a premier metropolitan university, transforming students’ lives and our region at the most significant rate among all local public universities,” said Thomas Keon, PNW chancellor. “Every dollar spent by students on a PNW education increases their lifetime earnings fourfold.”
Keon said from a taxpayer’s perspective, every dollar invested at PNW returns $1.70 to the local economy, for a total value of $89.7 million in future tax revenue and government savings.
The study found PNW’s impact accounts for 2% of gross regional product, including the accomplishments of students and alumni, research conducted, start-ups launched and visitors welcomed as a result of PNW’s educational and engagement activities.
According to the study, the activities of PNW and its students support one out of every 36 jobs in Northwest Indiana. Expanding the research to PNW’s primary service region including Cook and Will counties in Illinois and Berrien County in Michigan, the university adds $1.4 billion in total income and supports 14,876 jobs.
The study also found:
- The average bachelor’s degree graduate from PNW will see an increase in earnings of $22,200 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma.
- The impact of PNW’s alumni – including higher earnings, increased business profit and the ripple effects of alumni living and working in Northwest Indiana – added $591.5 million in regional income, supporting 8,248 jobs.
- Start-up companies supported by PNW faculty, innovative centers and research added $11 million in income to the Northwest Indiana economy.
- Spending by PNW students generated $7.9 million in added income for the regional economy, which supported 178 jobs.
- The off-campus expenditures of PNW’s out-of-region visitors generated a net impact of $124,200 in added income for the regional economy.
The study was commissioned by PNW. Emsi Burning Glass examined the economic impacts of PNW’s spending across major industries in the Region, and the costs associated with a PNW education from the perspective of students, taxpayers and the region at large.
The study was based on data from the 2019-2020 academic year.