LCSN: NMSU grads contribute millions to the state

January 15, 2012. Retrieved online January 16, 2012 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – A sense of pride is very appropriate for New Mexico State University and the school’s instate alumni. Of course the school is proud of all of its former students, no matter where the four winds have blown them, but recent statistics have shown just how important NMSU grads are to the Land of Enchantment.

NMSU president Barbara Couture recently released an economic report the school compiled of its economic impact for the 2010 year.

“Among our greatest contribution to the economy comes from our alumni who chose to remain in the state,” Couture said. “This is another value our state is constantly asking us to be mindful of, and that is how many of the students we attract do we also attract to stay here and be a contributing member of society with a college degree.”

In 2010 alone, NMSU graduates contributed almost $600 million to the state in disposable income and more than $650 million in personal income. That’s a lot of scratch.

“The greatest contribution of any university to the state is the contributions of its graduates,” said Jim Peach, who teaches economics at NMSU and was the lead researcher of the study.

He said the impact of NMSU grads on the state had not been studied before, so he was looking forward to the outcome.

“Surprise is the wrong word, but with the impact of our graduates, I just did not know what to expect,” Peach said. “It was greater than I expected.”

He said that the number reflects a conservative outlook.

“We looked at just labor income,” he said. “We can’t attribute total income to the fact that they attended NMSU and got a degree from us. We’re not including lottery winnings.”

According to the impact study, people who graduated before 1961 were eliminated as were those who did not receive a degree, those who received an honorary degree and those who received a certificate. As of Dec. 31, 2010 there were 49,269 NMSU alumni living in the state.

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article.

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