Let's Talk Business: Economic Impact of Southeast Missouri State University

Feb 3, 2019

Only eleven cities in the state of Missouri are fortunate enough to be home to one of these important economic drivers.

Cape is home to Southeast Missouri State University, founded in 1873. While Southeast’s primary purpose is to increase the human capital of its students, it also serves as a tremendous economic driver for the region.

One way the impact is felt is through its graduates. The latest U.S. Census tells us individuals in Missouri with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $16,720 more per year than those with a high school diploma or GED. Given more than 37,000 graduates live in the 24 county region served by Southeast, this effect is estimated to be more than $600 million dollars per year. But that’s not all.

A recent economic impact study analyzed the annual spending of students, University employees, the University itself, and construction projects. Results showed an annual economic impact of more than $1 million dollars for every 100 students enrolled at Southeast.

A deeper dive in to the spending habits of students shows the top five expenditure categories are groceries, rent, gasoline, dining out food and beverage, and vehicle related costs. Certainly, the entire region benefits from the presence of Southeast Missouri State University.

And remember, these statistics cannot measure the quality of life benefits received through sporting events and the performing arts.