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Introduction by President Lester A. Lefton


We’ve all heard the phrase that an education pays. 

At Kent State University, I am proud to say that this saying rings very true, and I have the facts and figures to prove it!

To commemorate the university’s 2010 Centennial, Kent State commissioned a study to quantify the economic contribution of Kent State and to detail the role that the university plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers and improving quality of life in Northeast Ohio and the individual regions served by our eight-campus system.

At a time when companies and organizations are asked to be more accountable and quantify their worth, this report documents the value of a Kent State education for not only our students, but also our alumni, the communities we serve and our regional economy. This report includes very impressive measurable numbers, such as: 

  • The average annual contribution of Kent State’s eight campuses and our alumni equals $1.9 billion. This is the approximate equivalent of 1.5 percent of the Northeast Ohio economy. 
  • The region receives roughly $292.4 million in added regional income each year due to the payroll of Kent State faculty and staff and the university’s spending for supplies and services.
  • A Kent State graduate with a bachelor’s degree will on average earn $1.1 million in higher income over a lifetime than a person with only a high school diploma.
  • Taxpayers see a real money return of 7.2 percent on their annual investments in Kent State.

In addition, Kent State is an important anchor institution to the region, one that is enduring and stable. We are a major source of job creation, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, the university’s 21st-century knowledge workforce (scientists, technologist, health and service professionals, to name a few) accounts for more regional jobs than any one of the area’s manufacturing companies.

Kent State takes great pride in our 196,000 alumni. Our graduates leave the institution and enter the workforce armed with employer-valued skills, making immediate contributions and leading successful careers. They also are assets to the region and individually make significant contributions to the quality of life we enjoy in Northeast Ohio.

The report, compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI), also documents Kent State’s research efforts, which make Kent State a major source of start-up companies and technology transfer. This activity generates jobs and economic innovation right here in Northeast Ohio, while securing the university’s role as a national cultural and educational center.

You can read more about our study on the following pages of this site. The results of this study will renew your pride in this great public research university. Kent State not only is dear to those of us associated with it, but the institution remains a precious and essential resource for Northeast Ohio as well. 

For a copy of the Overview Fact Sheet, click here.

I encourage you to take pride in the excellence in action that is taking place at Kent State and celebrate its Centennial. Imagine the exciting possibilities that the next 100 years will bring.