COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new study done on behalf of the Inter-University Council of Ohio shows how Ohio’s public universities contribute to the economy.

The Inter-University Council of Ohio is an association of 14 public universities. The 200-page independent study conveys the return on investment in Ohio.

What You Need To Know

  • The independent study is 200 pages and conveys the return on investment in Ohio

  • Several presidents of Ohio's public universities gathered at the statehouse to share results of the study 

  • Lightcast, an independent consulting firm, conducted the study 

Ohio’s public universities wanted to find out how public higher education is contributing to the state’s economy. Several presidents of Ohio’s public universities gathered at the statehouse to share the results. 

The study was conducted by Lightcast, an independent consulting firm, and data released shows Ohio's 14 public universities contributed $68.9 billion to Ohio’s economy between 2021 and 2022. The impact represents 8.8% of Ohio’s total revenue. President of Miami University Gregory Crawford told Spectrum News the study was done to see the performance of Ohio's public universities. 

"That's a stunning number in terms of how well we're doing collectively as a group of 14 universities in the state of Ohio and moving forward toward that goal of really delivering that talent to a lot of the companies and so forth that are in the stage," Crawford said. 

The study also found activities from the universities support over 866,000 jobs. Crawford told Spectrum News this shows the importance of receiving an Ohio degree. 

"When you see the graduates and you see them out there working in the great companies," Crawford said. "You see the leadership that they're exhibiting at the helm of some of these companies and you see all the entrepreneurs that were delivering to the state and many now are staying here rather than going to the right and left coasts."

Laura Bloomberg, the president of Cleveland State University, says it's critical Ohio lawmakers take a look at this study to decide budget dollars for higher education.

"The data that we got from this study makes a compelling argument for investing in higher education because the yield is extreme," Bloomberg said. "It's superb that a dollar invested in higher education in the state of ohio yields an exponential yet exponentially large outcome." 

Bloomberg says based on the study they hope the legislature can finance public universities to continue issuing degrees and let students have a bright future. 

The Ohio House passed their version of the operating fiscal budget. They decreased the amount of money the state would give to Ohio College Opportunity Grants compared to the amount Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed. The Ohio Senate is currently working on a draft, and has until the end of June to make changes.