Fairfield University Contributes Nearly $2 Billion to Local Economy

Fairfield University Contributes Nearly $2 Billion to Local Economy

Total direct spending and induced spending by Fairfield University increased by nearly $1 billion, according to the recent economic impact study from the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC).

Media Contact: Teddy DeRosa, tderosa@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2118

Fairfield University’s impact on the local economy is nearly $2 billion a year, according to a recently released study by the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC).

The total annual economic impact of the University — which has nearly doubled since the last study released in 2017 — was measured in terms of the direct spending by the University and its students, guests, and employees, as well as induced spending activity on the local economy as generated by the University’s presence. The number of jobs the University creates and the number of alumni who choose to stay in the state after graduating were also factored in.

The total direct spending — the amount of money spent directly by the University and University employees, students, and visitors — was valued at more than $1 billion, with more than $100 million contributed by employees alone. Nearly $800 million was contributed due to induced spending, which is defined as the additional employment and expenditures of local industries that result because of direct spending. 

University vice president for Marketing and Communications Jennifer Anderson '97, MBA'02, noted that Fairfield’s modern approach to education, including state-of-the-art buildings and programs, is a major contributor to the increase in contributions to the local economy.

“Fairfield University was founded to serve the greater community — to drive innovation and prosperity for the Town of Fairfield and the greater region,” said Anderson. “We are delighted to see that the ingenuity of our graduates, our growth trajectory, and the continued success of our programs have made such a significant contribution to the state.”

Also included in the total amount were the number of jobs created and the number of alumni living in the state: Fairfield generated more than 14,000 jobs and opportunities statewide in 2017.

Additionally, the 20,000 University alumni who live in the state have a significant impact on the economy. Alumni include graduates of the Dolan School of Business’s StartUp program, which guides students to create their own viable businesses and instills in those businesses the importance of helping the local Fairfield economy.

“Fairfield University is a top employer within the region and is a tremendous community partner, providing support to a wide range of community initiatives,” said Mark Barnhart, the Town of Fairfield’s Director of Community & Economic Development. “We enjoy a strong relationship with the University, and we continue to look for ways in which to collaborate and leverage the exceptional talent at Fairfield University, to expand economic opportunities for the Fairfield region and the State as a whole.”

The Fairfield University StagCard is an example of how students participate in the local economy. The StagCard can be used by students as a debit card at participating businesses in the community. During the 2018-2019 academic year, students have already spent nearly $205,000 and are on track to exceed last year’s spending of more than $240,000.

Posted On: April 4, 2019

Volume: 51 Number: 80

Fairfield University is the modern Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.