Eight Ways We Know

Higher Education Drives Virginia’s Economy


1
TOP-RANKED HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES
As with SmartAsset’s #1 or #2 ranking for four straight years, Virginia’s higher education system consistently earns top rankings for quality, value, and return on investment—branding Virginia a talent leader.
2
WINNING AMAZON’S HQ2 INVESTMENT … THE RIGHT WAY
Amazon and state officials credit Virginia’s standout higher education system and resulting tech talent pipeline as the reason Virginia won the Amazon HQ2 investment despite offering less financial incentives than other states.
3
REGAINING TOP HONORS AS BEST STATE FOR BUSINESS
Our best-in-the-nation education system and workforce were the main reasons cited by CNBC for returning Virginia to the #1 spot as the Top State for Business in 2019.
4
MAJOR ECONOMIC GROWTH, JOBS, AND REVENUE IMPACTS
Virginia’s public higher education institutions each year contribute more than $36 billion in Gross State Product, account for more than 167,000 jobs, and generate more than $3.2 billion in state tax revenues for the Commonwealth.
5
A HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM THAT MORE THAN PAYS FOR ITSELF IN STATE REVENUES
Each tax dollar invested in Virginia’s public higher education system generates more than $21 in Gross State Product and returns $1.92 in revenue to the State Treasury.
6
VIRGINIANS SEE OUR HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM AS A SOUND PLACE TO INVEST
Large majorities of Virginians in both parties say we should be proud of our top-performing higher education system. 88% say our higher education system is a “valuable asset” of the Commonwealth
and describe it as “well run” and
a “sound place to invest public dollars.”
7
VIRGINIA’S TOP GRADUATION RATES PRODUCE A STRONG RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR STUDENTS
With the 2nd highest graduation rates in the nation (more than 70%), Virginia’s higher education system delivers a strong ROI for students. SmartAsset puts the average 20-year ROI of a 4-year degree from Virginia’s higher education system
at $388,913.
8
LOWER COST PER DEGREE THAN NEIGHBORS AND PEERS
Virginia’s higher education system also wins high marks for cost-efficiency. A 2020 Lumina Foundation report found that Virginia produces top graduation rates despite spending less per degree than neighboring states and states with similar higher education systems.  And, in Virginia, the cost per degree has been going down over the past decade.

Virginia’s Top- Performing Higher Education System

BY THE NUMBERS


#2
Virginia higher education system’s national ranking by SmartAsset
based on graduation rates and return on investment
$21
generated in the Virginia economy by every $1 of state investment in higher education
$1.92
revenue returning to the State Treasury for every $1 of state investment in higher education
167,000
jobs the public higher education system supports
93%
Virginians who say we should be proud of our top-performing higher education system
87%
Virginians who believe higher education is a good investment because it leads to higher incomes and a stronger economy
$36 BILLION
the Virginia higher education system’s annual contribution to Virginia’s economic output
88%
Virginians who say our colleges and universities “are well run” and “are a sound place to invest public dollars”
BOTTOM 15 & TOP 15
among the 50 states, Virginia now ranks in the bottom 15 for state support of higher education. Virginia relies more heavily on tuition, ranking in the top 15 highest tuition states

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Virginia’s budget is still under construction. It takes only a minute to let the governor and legislators know you support investing in college affordability and good jobs for all Virginians.

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Learn More

Watch the 2019 video below to learn more about Growth4VA.