By Jessica Bakeman, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- New York's private colleges contributed $63.2 billion to the state economy in 2011, according to an industry-backed report.
Independent, not-for-profit colleges had an economic impact in upstate New York of $22.8 billion last year, according to report conducted for the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities. The economic impact was $4.9 billion in the Finger Lakes, $4.7 billion in the Southern Tier, $4.3 billion in the mid-Hudson Valley and $1.3 billion in western New York, said the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research, which did the study.
"This is good for the economy directly -- as it provides employment for skilled professionals -- and indirectly, as this enhances the capacity of New York's workforce to confront the challenges of the 21st century," said Kent Gardner, CGR's chief research officer, in a statement.
The total economic impact is an increase of $8.9 billion, or 16.4 percent, from 2009, according to the report, which was released Tuesday.
The state's more than 100 private colleges employ 180,600 people in New York, with a payroll that exceeds $12.2 billion annually, the report said. Of that, 78,700 employees live in upstate New York, with a payroll of $5.1 billion.
Direct institutional spending exceeded $50 billion, the report said, and students and college visitors spent $4.3 billion.
Nearly 1.3 million students enroll annually at colleges and universities in New York state. In fall 2010, about 488,180 attended private, not-for-profit schools.
That fall, the public higher education system, the State University of New York, had 471,184 students at 64 campuses, including four-year research universities and liberal arts colleges and 2-year community colleges.
A SUNY report last year stated that the system had an economic impact of $19.8 billion in 2008-09.
The Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities is a statewide association representing public-policy interests of New York's private colleges.
"Higher education remains one of New York state's most significant economic sectors," the commission's president Laura Anglin said in a statement.
Breakout: Economic Impact by Region
Total economic impact: $4.9 billion
Institutional impact: $3.9 billion
Student and visitor impact: $349.6 million
Academic medical center impact: $648.1 million
Payroll: $2.6 billion
Degrees granted: 10,677
Total economic impact: $4.7 billion
Institutional impact: $4.5 billion
Student and visitor impact: $193.1 million
Payroll: $2 billion
Degrees granted: 8,912
Total economic impact: $4.3 billion
Institutional impact: $3.1 billion
Student and visitor impact: $460.2 million
Academic medical center impact: $676.3 million
Payroll: $1.4 billion
Degrees granted: 13,243