Economic studies show that people who have completed a college degree are likely to earn more money than those who have not attended college. Yet economists often overlook the fact that these financial benefits extend beyond the individual workforce. The local college earnings advantage also leads to greater economic activity.
Located in West Palm Beach, what locals call “Paradise on Earth,” Palm Beach Atlantic University projects a total impact of $403,580,425 million in financial benefits. According to the University’s Office of Institutional Assessment, Accreditation and Research, an indirect multiplier of 2.5 was used to determine the broadest economic impact generated in the community, which was $2.9 million higher than last year’s.
“Our students play a significant role in PBA’s impact in the community,” said President William M. B. Fleming Jr. “More than just supporting higher education and fueling prosperity at the local level with their tuition plus dollars, our students are mobilized citizens, uniting our community in a common effort to make this a city where people want to live, work and play. They also provide inspiration by offering their talent to local businesses that greatly value their gifts, preparedness and business ethics.”
The University spends 98 percent of its annual budget in the Palm Beach County area in the amount of $67,142,652, not including employee salaries. As most of the faculty and staff spend the larger part of their salaries locally and their households contain other wage-earners, the economic impact of faculty and staff salaries is an additional $33,320,000.
Students account for $52,874,528 through housing, meals, transportation and miscellaneous expenses and purchases.
The University is located across from Palm Beach Island and steps from downtown West Palm Beach, one of Florida’s most dynamic cities, and America’s first resort destination. Its gorgeous weather, excellent faculty and innovative programs attract students across the United States and globally. PBA welcomes over 38,269 visitors annually through visits of prospective students and their families, athletes and overnight spectators, business and educational association meetings held on campus and audience members for music, dance and theatre productions. Food and accommodations represent an impact of $6,688,663.
An indirect multiplier of 2.5 was used to arrive at the total.
In addition, PBA students contributed 130,139 service hours to churches and nonprofit agencies across Palm Beach County during the 2017-2018 academic year through Workship, the University’s signature community service program that supports Christian life. Since 1968, the year the University was founded, PBA students have logged 3,356,176 service hours. The program’s total economic impact is estimated at $403,580,425.