Black Hills State University generates $59.8 million a year in immediate economic impact to South Dakota and approximately $190.6 million a year in the long run according to an economic impact study that was just released.

“This study shows that Black Hills State University is truly an economic engine for our state and region,” BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp says. “The findings confirm that the University strengthens the South Dakota economy by providing jobs, generating income through operations, acquiring federal research money, as well as stimulating the economy with student spending and visitor spending.”

Schallenkamp also noted that BHSU enhances the quality of life of South Dakota residents through numerous cultural experiences, lifelong learning opportunities, research, business and educational consulting expertise, conferences, camps, and sporting events.

The study found that from a $7.8 million state investment, BHSU had the following annual economic impact:
• Directly supports 415.7 full-time jobs.
• Generates $10.5 million in direct economic impact through day-to-day operations and consumption of goods and services.
• Acquires $12 million in federal and private grants and contracts for research, development, and projects.
• Injects approximately $17.4 million into the South Dakota economy through students’ day-to-day living expenses. This amount is in addition to $24 million in tuition and fees from BHSU’s 4,100+ students.
• Adds more than $4.5 million to the South Dakota economy through off-campus spending by visitors to BHSU (athletics, performances and other special events).

In addition to these direct effects, there are secondary and tertiary benefits as money spent circulates throughout the South Dakota economy. Jobs in many other industries are directly and indirectly supported by BHSU. Using regional economic modeling, it’s estimated that BHSU is directly or indirectly supporting 1,310 full-time jobs in South Dakota.

The presence of public universities in the state helps keep students in the state while they study and also makes them more likely to stay in South Dakota after they graduate than if they attended universities in other states. More than 80 percent of BHSU graduates stay in the state following graduation, building their careers and raising their families in our communities.

BHSU has seen a steady increase in enrollment in recent years, and last year reached an all-time enrollment record (enrollment figures for this fall will be released Sept. 28). The enrollment growth means the economic impact is increasing as well.

The study notes that the jobs provided by BHSU also have an important impact on population in the state and estimates that over 3,900 people are in South Dakota because of the impact of BHSU.

“BHSU employees are an important part of the community and the region,” Schallenkamp says. “Their contributions through economic expenditures and through their participation in community service activities greatly enhance the quality of life for all.”

“Only 15 percent of BHSU’s budget comes from the state general fund. With that $7.8 million investment, the state is seeing a return of nearly $60 million a year in immediate economic impact and $190.6 million in the long run,” Schallenkamp says. “In addition we are building an educated workforce for the state which makes it possible for the state to attract new businesses and industries. Black Hills State University, and the other state universities, are assets for this state which are vital to ensuring a thriving economy. ”

A copy of the full report is available on the South Dakota Board of Regents website.

SD Board of Regents press release