New Study Shows USM Generates $10.4 Billion Annually for Maryland Economy

Study from Jacob France Institute Affirms Nearly Three-to-One Return on State’s Investment

Baltimore, Md. (Dec. 10, 2021) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) generated an impressive $10.4 billion in estimated economic impact for Maryland during fiscal year 2021 and supported 57,505 Maryland jobs, according to a new report from the Jacob France Institute (JFI) at the University of Baltimore. The new JFI report updates a similar analysis conducted for the USM in 2011.

The study, “The Economic Impact of the University System of Maryland: A Human Capital Investment and Fiscal Analysis,” details the many ways the USM contributes to the Maryland economy, including workforce development, research and innovation, and the lifetime earnings of its graduates—who often remain in the state to live, work, and contribute to the state’s economy.

“We talk a lot about the University System’s core missions: education, research, and service,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “But what we don’t talk about enough is that these missions translate into billions of dollars of economic activity every year, advancing Maryland’s strength and prosperity. For every dollar the state invests in us, we return nearly three times that amount back to Maryland’s communities. Our work is a key driver of economic growth, and that growth benefits all of the state’s citizens.”

Using a detailed analysis that includes a specific look at four representative USM graduating cohort classes—1986, 1989, 1996, and 2006—the study finds a substantial, cumulative impact that these USM graduates have on state revenues and the economy. Those impacts and other notable findings include:

The state of Maryland’s return on each dollar invested in the USM ranges from $1.90 (1996 cohort) to $2.90 (2006 cohort).
  • USM graduates can expect to earn more over his or her lifetime than those individuals holding only a high-school diploma—those with bachelor’s degrees, on average, earn $2.5-to-$4.2 million more in incremental earnings.  Those with USM graduate degrees earn even more over those at the next-lowest education level: between $100,000-to-$900,000 more for a master’s recipients; $40,000-to-$600,000 for a doctoral degree over a master’s; and professional degrees (such as law and medicine) between $2.5-to-$3.9 million more.
  • The USM also draws a significant amount of out-of-state economic activity into Maryland, including out-of-state student tuition, fees, living expenses, federal grants and contracts, and out-of-state visitor spending.  Such spending totals almost $3.3 billion and supports 26,791 jobs whose cumulative earnings were nearly $1.1 billion in FY 2019. 
  • The USM accounted for 72.1 percent of the total enrollment of Maryland’s four-year degree granting institutions, up from 69 percent in the 2011 study. The system also accounted for 79 percent of total bachelor’s degrees awarded; 53 percent of total master’s degrees; 55 percent of total doctoral degrees; and 83 percent of professional degrees awarded.
  • The USM plays a vital role in workforce development, with a strong impact on occupations that face shortages in workers. The system generates 82 percent of bachelor’s STEM (non-health) degrees; 79 percent of education degrees; and 81 percent of both business and health degrees.
  • The JFI study also finds that the USM is a leader in supporting Maryland’s economic competitiveness. The USM generates $1.3 billion in research expenditures, which supports the development of new technologies and innovation-driven companies. For example, in FY 2019 the system generated 331 invention disclosures, 198 new patent applications and also executed 68 new licenses. In sum, 119 companies have been formed based on USM technologies.

Overall, the new report provides further evidence that bolsters the USM’s profound impact on the state’s economic activity and standing as a source of educated and skilled workers and leaders for Maryland employers. The report offers extensive information on how each USM institution contributes to the quality of life in Maryland through a wide array of community service activities.  Additional information on the JFI report can be obtained from the executive summary and the full report. A link to the full report can be found here.

The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719