Student study gauges CSUSM’s economic impact

SAN MARCOS — Cal State San Marcos is an economic engine that supports thousands of jobs by pumping more than $458 million into the region annually and boosting the future earning potential of its students, according to a comprehensive study based on reams of research.

“Cal State San Marcos is an anchor institution for North County San Diego, and as such it is having a significant impact on improving the quality of life in the region. The profound economic contributions supported by this study constitute a large part of that quality-of-life impact,” said Sarah Villarreal, associate vice president for community engagement.

The 45-page report was conducted by a team of CSUSM seniors who spent several months collecting and analyzing state, local and federal data. The report — which looks at both the main campus in San Marcos and a satellite campus in Temecula — investigated the University’s economic impact during the 2016-17 academic year.

Among the highlights:

The combined impact of CSUSM and its auxiliary organizations — including payroll and student expenses — at the San Marcos campus came to $443,658,002. The combined impact of CSUSM’s Temecula campus resulted in $14,406,610.

The impact of the $123,115,529 in payroll distributed and spent by CSUSM and its auxiliary organizations at the San Marcos campus supported 1,970 jobs. The impact of the $3,574,379 in payroll distributed and spent by CSUSM at the Temecula campus supported 57 jobs in Southwest Riverside County.

Students at the San Marcos campus spent a total of $145,455,317 (not counting tuition, fees and books), while students at the Temecula campus spent a total of $4,414,317 (not counting tuition, fees and books).

The total estimated state and local tax revenue generated by university-related activities at the San Marcos campus exceeds $25 million annually, and the total estimated state and local tax revenue generated by university-related activities at the Temecula campus exceeds $800,000 annually.

The study was produced by students taking part in CSUSM’s Senior Experience program, which matches teams of students with projects submitted by local businesses and organizations — in this case CSUSM’s University Advancement.

“The primary goal of the economic study was to demonstrate the short- and long-term impacts generated from the University’s direct spending activity, as well as from developing a more productive workforce with higher wages and an overall improvement in the lives of the graduates and their communities,” said Kevin Dunwell, an accounting student who led the team.

The study’s authors collected data from the CSUSM Budget Office, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the United States Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder, the Federal Reserve Economic Database, the California Department of Industrial Relations and taxrates.org. The study employed IMPLAN software to measure the impacts of the data that was collected.

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