News from the Aurora University community

Study finds Aurora University annually contributes more than $340 million to Chicago area economy

Posted by on July 16, 2014

AU supported job opportunities for 1,320 people in Chicagoland and STEM Partnership School estimated to contribute $6.4 million to Aurora area during 2014-2014 academic year

A new study shows that Aurora University continues to make significant contributions throughout its surrounding communities. The report finds that AU annually contributes more than $340 million to the Chicago area economy, up from $325 million when a similar study was conducted in 2011. The increase results from additional business activity, construction, higher alumni earnings and the social benefits associated with a college education.

The university and its employees, students and visitors add more than $44 million to the local economy through new spending every year. Additionally, the study shows how an Aurora University degree positively impacts the greater economy and society: The 17,000 working alumni in the Chicago area make $187 million more in earnings because of their AU education, and the improved lives of graduates leads to $109 million in social benefits, such as reduced crime, unemployment and welfare expenditures.

“Our mission statement at Aurora University professes our singular dedication to ‘the transformative power of learning,’” said Rebecca L. Sherrick, President of Aurora University. “As this latest study indicates, the positive impact of AU may be understood in economic as well as educational terms.”

The positive effect Aurora University has on employment was also outlined in the study. The university supported job opportunities for 1,320 people in Chicagoland: 365 full-time positions at AU and 955 new jobs in the Chicago area.

Additionally, the report estimates that the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, which will open on the Aurora campus next month, will contribute $6.4 million to the Aurora area during the 2014–2015 academic year. The project will bring about economic activity (i.e., increasing property values and sales tax revenue) and grant funding and have a positive effect on the lifetime earnings of its students.

Aurora University’s impact extends beyond the Chicagoland area, as the university also contributed more than $9 million dollars to the Walworth County region in Wisconsin. Almost $5 million was added through new spending, Walworth County alumni made more than $3 million more in earnings because of their AU education and the social benefit impact was more than $1 million.


Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning, annually educating more than 4,900 degree-seeking students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The university has a long tradition of preparing students for lives of service and leadership, and using its resources and expertise to meet the needs of the community. In addition to its main campus and the Orchard Center in Aurora, Ill., AU offers programs online, at its George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wis., and at the Woodstock Center in downtown Woodstock, Ill. Learn more at

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Deborah Maue
University Communications