Iowa Board of Regents

Is a university education really worth the cost to students and the investment of state tax dollars?

Absolutely! It's one of the best investments individuals and state officials can make. U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate the average bachelor's degree graduate will earn nearly $1 million more in their lifetime than the average high school graduate. For those with advanced degrees, that lifetime income is even higher. 

That investment in higher education pays off for the state and society. The future strength of Iowa's and the nation's economies increasingly depends on those higher skilled, higher earning workers enhancing state productivity, spending those higher incomes, and contributing as active, educated citizens.

Iowa’s Regent Universities provided $14.9 billion in added income to the state during FY 2021-22, according to an economic impact analysis report from Lightcast, a leading labor market analytics firm. That figure of $14.9 billion is equal to approximately 7.1% of the gross state product. The report also notes the sum total of university activity supports nearly 200,000 jobs (one out of every 10 jobs in Iowa) and returns nearly three dollars for every taxpayer dollar spent. Read the full report here.

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