Fri., July 1, 2011 5:01am (EDT)

Colleges Impact Local Economies
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 3 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Campus of Macon State College (photo courtesy Macon State College)
Campus of Macon State College (photo courtesy Macon State College)
Georgia’s 35 colleges and universities add billions to local economies. A new study says they also create more than 130-thousand jobs.

The report by University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business factors in salaries, student spending, and operating expenses. UGA's main campus alone contributes two billion dollars a year to the Athens economy.

Smaller schools like Macon State College generate around 160-million. Macon State’s John Cole says they want to increase those numbers by enrolling more out of town students.

“It is a calculated move. It changes the face of the college yet again to appeal to students who are looking for that traditional college experience. And, it adds a lot to the kind of energy on campus.”

The report says economic impact is down slightly in the last year due to reduced spending on school operations.