Christian colleges and universities contribute $60 billion a year to U.S. economy, study finds

Representative image: A study has found that Christian colleges contribute billion each year to the U.S. economy.Pixabay/Wokandapix

The economic impact of Christian colleges and universities in the U.S. is more than $60 billion each year, and these institutions generate more than $9.7 billion in taxes, a new study has found.

A study conducted by the Econsult Solutions, Inc. of Philadelphia has found that more $60 billion is generated by institutions associated with the the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) each year. A total of $25.9 billion of that sum comes from a combination of institutional expenditures on operations and capital investments, while $34.6 million comes from additional earnings from CCCU alumni.

The CCCU, which released the study, represents 142 institutions that collectively educate 445,000 students, employ 72,000 faculty and staff, and provide services to its 3.5 million alumni around the world.

The report also found that while these institutions are exempted from paying taxes, the schools indirectly contribute $9.7 billion in federal tax revenue through their economic activities.

Econsult Solutions said that the findings would help in determining the role of Christian colleges and universities, particularly when it comes to its economic impact in the U.S.

"Our nation and our communities need more of what these institutions do, which is act as anchors of economic activity, serve and engage with their immediate neighbors, and add intelligent and service-oriented graduates to tomorrow's workforce," Econsult senior vice president and principal Lee Huang said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The findings have indicated that CCCU institutions generate more than $20 in federal tax revenue for every dollar a CCCU student receives in federal grant money.

It also suggested that CCCU students are more likely to pay back their student loans, with 77.7 percent paying back, compared to the national average of 64.8 percent. CCCU students are also less likely to default on their loans compared to the national average (6.3 percent compared to 11.5 percent).

"Our rigorous academics and educational missions shape students who act for the public good-often at a cost to themselves-out of a love for Jesus Christ and for the world around them," said CCCU president Shirley V. Hoogstra. "The results from this report are powerful and illuminate a bright future for Christian higher education".

Other findings of the study have revealed that CCCU institutions have contributed to their immediate communities through a wide range of programs.

At least 84 percent of CCCU institutions have invested in arts and cultural facilities that are open to the public. Seventy-one percent are invested in neighborhood schools and 67 percent have opened sports complexes for their respective communities. At least 38 percent are investing in neighborhood community projects.