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New Report Details Fisher’s Regional Economic Impact

July 18, 2017

During the 2016 fiscal year, the indirect, direct, and multiplier effects of St. John Fisher College’s spending—on payroll, purchasing, construction, and off-campus spending by students and visitors to the campus—accounted for $120.7 million in regional economic output. That is just one of the findings from a new study that shows the substantial impact the College has on the community, on local business, and on the New York State higher education footprint.

2017 economic infographic - visual representation of news story content

The College recently partnered with Appleseed, a New York City-based economic consulting firm, to conduct an economic impact study, which looked at data from the 2015-2016 academic year. The findings of the study were made available online earlier today.

“Since its founding, St. John Fisher College has remained committed to serving the needs of our local and regional community. This study points to the many ways in which we serve as an anchor institution, providing solutions and innovations to help make Rochester and its surrounding region a vibrant place to live,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, the College’s president.

As a result of the growth of the College and its academic offerings, in a 10-year period from 2005 to 2015, non-student employment at Fisher increased by more than 41 percent. As of 2015, the College employed more than 900 people, with salaries and wages totaling nearly $43.7 million. And, despite its tax-exempt status, the College directly accounted for nearly $2.1 million in state and local government revenues.

As Fisher primarily draws students from a 100-mile radius of campus, the study also found it contributed greatly to the development of New York’s human capital. In fall 2015, more than 96 percent of all students enrolled at Fisher were residents of New York State, including 57 percent from the Rochester area. Those students are studying in fields aligned with some of the state’s leading industries and occupations, including computer science, digital media, data science, accounting, finance, nursing, and pharmacy.

What’s more, students who study at Fisher tend to remain in the region after graduation; as of summer 2015, 61 percent of all College alumni live in the Rochester area. In Monroe County, more than 6 percent of all residents who earned a bachelor’s or higher degree were Fisher graduates.

“In an array of important sectors, including accounting, legal, health care, small business and large business, and many more, we know that Fisher alumni make significant contributions to the local community as a great place to live and work,” said Martin K. Birmingham, chair of the Board of Trustees. “This study confirms the positive impact of the College on the regional economy today and in its future outlook.  My fellow Trustees and I take seriously and are very cognizant of the stewardship we provide for this very special and important community asset.  ”

With the tenets of civic engagement and service to the community embedded in the College’s mission, vision, and strategic plan, Fisher students spent a combined total of 393,050 hours in the 2015-2016 academic year working as volunteers in a wide range of community service programs.

That same year, 230 employees reported spending approximately 20,000 hours engaged in volunteer work. Through the College’s Center for Community Engagement, 1,293 managers and board members representing 269 non-profit organizations participated in leadership training related to non-profit management.

To read the full economic impact report, visit

In the infographic:

Up Close and Committed: The Social and Economic Impact of the Fisher Family.

  • 96% of full-time Fisher undergrads came from New York State.
  • 41% growth in College employment from 2005-2015.
  • 61% of Fisher alumni lived in the Rochester region.
  • SEVEN out of every 100 Monroe County residents who hold a bachelor's or higher degree earned it from Fisher.
  • 681 students participated in 45 service-learning courses.
  • Fisher accounted for nearly $2.1 million in state and local government revenues.
  • $120,700,000 in regional economic output is attributed to the College's spending on payroll, purchasing, construction and students' off-campus spending (direct, indirect, and multiplier).
  • Fisher students spent 393,050 hours - the equivalent of nearly 45 years - volunteering in the community.
  • Fisher employees spent more than 20,000 hours engaged in volunteer work outside of the College.