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Categories:  Campus

Chicago universities a major force in city, study finds

Logo for American's Urban Campus, a consortium of 17 Chicago nonprofit colleges and universities.A study by a new consortium of Chicago-area nonprofit colleges and universities says the institutions have a major impact in Chicago, supporting 43,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in economic activity.

The consortium, called America’s Urban Campus, includes UIC and 16 other institutions: Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago State University, City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, Loyola University, North Park University, Northwestern University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University, Saint Xavier University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Chicago.

The study, conducted by Anderson Economic Group and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, looked at how the schools collectively impact the workforce, support local businesses and provide a new way of thinking about educational, economic and cultural development.

“The America’s Urban Campus study definitively proves Chicago is a world-class educational city that attracts students from all over the nation and throughout the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are proud to be a versatile and successful city for higher education, and our Chicago-area institutions continually provide students with excellent education and post-graduate opportunities.”

The study found that the number of degrees and certificates awarded by Chicago-area schools from 2003 to 2012 increased by 26 percent.

Other findings:

  • In 2013, the consortium’s schools educated more than 216,000 students from every state in the country and more than 100 countries around the world.
  • One out of four Chicago residents with bachelor’s degrees graduated from an AUC school.
  • Economic activity from consortium schools and their students supported 43,000 jobs — 4 percent of the overall Chicago workforce — and $10.8 billion in spending in Chicago in 2013.
  • AUC schools and universities participate in 1,400 documented partnerships and programs in Chicago Public Schools, involving more than 42,000 CPS students at 578 schools.

Consortium members also partner with World Business Chicago, Choose Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and The Chicago Loop Alliance to educate future leaders, support businesses seeking talent and provide social and cultural opportunities for graduates to call Chicago their home.

“These findings demonstrate the critical role America’s Urban Campus institutions play in sustaining Chicago’s position as a global cultural and economic hub,” said Walter E. Massey, president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Our schools make significant contributions to the local economy and community and are producing the leaders who will shape the 21st century, from the arts, commerce and sciences to government, education and sustainability.”