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New Study Shows Texas Tech has $1 Billion Impact on Lubbock

Study predicts university's goal of reaching 40,000 students by the year 2020 will increase Lubbock's economic growth.

Written by Sally Logue Post

The economic impact study conducted by Rawls professor Bradley Ewing, focuses on the spending habits of the university, its faculty, staff and students.
A new study shows that Texas Tech University faculty, staff and students generate a total economic impact of $1.15 billion and help to sustain about 13,300 jobs per year in Lubbock County. The survey, completed last month, also estimates the university’s goal to grow to 40,000 students by 2020 would increase the total economic impact by $480 million to $1.63 billion and sustain about 18,800 jobs. Texas Tech currently enrolls about 28,000 students who spend $297.5 million and help sustain about 2,054 jobs. Forty thousand students would spend about $421 million and help sustain about 2,907 jobs. “It’s no secret that Texas Tech has a huge impact on Lubbock County,” said Michael Shonrock, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “This study provides some insight into just how big an impact. Reaching Chancellor Hance’s goal of 40,000 students by 2020 will not only benefit the university, but this study also shows that there are significant economic implications for the community as well.” Bradley Ewing, Rawls professor of operations management in the Rawls College of Business, completed the study for the university’s Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. So that direct comparisons can be made, all dollar figures presented in the report are expressed in 2008 dollars. The study looks only at Texas Tech University and does not include the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “Students spend much of their money locally,” said Shonrock. “An increase in enrollment translates to a boon for the community’s economy. The survey shows that one Lubbock County job would be created or sustained from the spending of every 14 new Texas Tech students. That’s a significant impact on our community.” Ewing used a computer model called an input-output model to do the study. The model looks at several factors to identify the demands for products and services in Lubbock County. The survey looks at the dollars spent in Lubbock and does not include spending outside the county. Ewing looked at three areas: how much the university spends, how much employees spend and how much students spend. “We looked at how much students spend specifically so that we can see their impact on the community,” said Ewing. “As the university moves toward adding 12,000 students, we wanted to know how those numbers will impact the community. When you hear someone say students help local businesses, it’s not just the T-shirt store or sandwich shop on University Avenue across from campus, it’s nearly every business. Without the current level of student spending, Lubbock might not have as many Wal-Mart stores or some of the retail businesses that have opened recently.” Read the 2008 Economic Impact Study Executive Summary.
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