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FHSU Makes Multimillion Dollar Contribution to Regional Economy

Fort Hays State UniversityJanuary 18, 2020

Fort Hays State University’s economic impact on its five-county region ranged between $175 million and $234 million in fiscal year 2018, according to a recent economic impact study.

The exact estimates computed in the study for the year beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2018, were $175,280,975 and $233,710,726.

The estimate of the total economic impact is determined by combining a direct impact with an indirect impact and an induced impact. The direct impact for FY2018, the sum of all local expenditures made by the university, was estimated at $129,839,292 under the method that resulted in the high-end estimate.

That method, called Caffrey-Isaacs, estimated the indirect impact – additional business spending to support the initial expenditure – at $25,967,858. The induced impact, “additional expenditures resulting from the incomes created by the direct impact,” was estimated at $77,903,575.

“Fort Hays State is unquestionably a key contributor to the overall health of the regional economy,” said university President Tisa Mason. “The research in this study shows a growth of almost 300 percent in the university’s economic impact in the region over the last 30 years.”

Direct effects come from local spending by the university and its associated entities, from purchases of goods and services by faculty and staff and their families, spending by students and visitors to the university, jobs created by the presence of the university, and tax revenue.

Total net pay for all university faculty and staff living in the home region was computed from payroll records at $31,020,933 for FY 2018. Total local expenditures by FHSU students was estimated at $32,384,041, or 71 percent of total student spending of $45,611,325 (tuition not included).

The study also broke down student expenditures by type: 47 percent for housing; 20 percent for food; transportation, 11 percent; entertainment, 4 percent; health and personal care, 3 percent each. All other expenditures were lumped into a category call Other and estimated at 12 percent.

The study found that these activities bring more than $2.6 million to the area.

President Mason said Fort Hays State’s institutional mission of producing engaged global citizen-leaders for a 21st-century world makes it easy to overlook the university’s connectedness to the economic vitality of the region beyond our campus footprint.

“Our Hays campus community, almost a thousand strong, drives economic development in western Kansas through our many and diverse arts and cultural offerings, our nationally competitive NCAA athletics programs, and our business development, applied health and social services consulting and community service efforts,” she said.

The study defines the Ellis County regional economy as Ellis County and the four contiguous counties: Rooks, Russell, Rush and Trego. Three Fort Hays State economics, finance and accounting faculty members conducted the study: Dr. Emily Breit, associate professor; Dr. Tom Johansen, professor; and Dr. Samuel Schreyer, associate professor.

The full report can be found at

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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