Fairfield University Contributes More Than $1 Billion Annually to Local Economy

Fairfield University Contributes More Than $1 Billion Annually to Local Economy

Fairfield University students at a food truck on campus (with masks on)

According to a recent study, Fairfield University created 7,664 jobs in Connecticut in 2019 and roughly 13,000 Fairfield alumni who call Connecticut home contribute significantly to spending on the local level and across the state. 

The total annual economic impact of Fairfield University is more than $1 billion, according to the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) 2021 Economic Impact Study. The University’s economic impact was measured in terms of both the direct and the induced economic impact of the University’s activity on the local economy.

Direct spending, defined as the amount of money spent directly by the University, University employees, students, alumni, and visitors, was valued at more than $630 million, with upwards of $100 million contributed by employees alone, and nearly $60 million generated with direct spending by students and visitors.

The induced economic impact — the additional employment and expenditures of local industries that result because of direct spending — was valued at more than $400 million.

Fairfield University Vice President of Marketing and Communication Jennifer Anderson '97, MBA'02 noted, “As a major contributor to our hometown and home state’s economy, Fairfield continues to evolve and innovate with nationally ranked programs, virtual learning capabilities, and a modern campus dotted with state-of-the-art facilities. Through the University’s modern approach to education, its programming reflects the changing landscape and needs of employers statewide, and the large number of our alumni who choose stay in Connecticut after graduation also contribute significant talent across the region.”

Included in the total amount is the opportunity that Fairfield University brings to the region with 7,664 jobs created, and the impact of roughly 13,000 Fairfield University alumni who call Connecticut home.

The 2021 report on the economic impact of the state’s 15 non-profit independent colleges and universities used FY '19 data to present an analysis of payrolls, spending for goods and services, the spending of students, faculty, staff, and visitors, as well as indirect and induced job creation and spending that occurs because of the presence of these institutions in their communities. It found that Connecticut’s non-profit independent institutions of higher education collectively contribute $15.4 billion to the state’s economy.

“The non-profit independent higher education sector is a key driver in Connecticut’s economy,” said Jennifer Widness, president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC). “Collectively, our member institutions are economic engines in this state, serving as magnets attracting students and their families, alumni, and tourists that all spend money locally yet use minimal municipal services. They are large employers in the communities (the largest, in some instances) and collectively employ nearly 30,000 people statewide.”

Founded in 1932, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) is an association that represents 15 accredited nonprofit independent colleges and universities in Connecticut. CCIC provides public policy leadership and support of higher education, fosters cooperative efforts among colleges and universities, and serves as a liaison between the state and the independent institutions. Visit CCIC at www.theccic.org.

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