The California State University’s significant and varied economic contributions to the state’s economy includes a return of nearly seven dollars for every one dollar invested into the system by California according to a new economic impact study.

The system-wide study also provides a wealth of specific information on Cal State San Bernardino’s impact on the Inland Empire. As one of the largest employers in the inland region and the only CSU located in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, CSUSB serves as a springboard to opportunity for the students it serves and an economic engine for the two-county region.

One of the study’s findings is that for every $1 California invests in CSUSB, the university generates $6.62 of positive economic activity. The study was prepared for the CSU by global advisory and digital services provider ICF utilizing data from 2018-19.

As a state supported institution, the CSU is reliant on the state’s General Fund allocation to fund the university’s operating budget. California’s increased investment in the CSU over the past several years has resulted in growth in student success with annual increases in graduation rates, which have reached all-time highs under the university’s Graduation Initiative 2025.

“The California State University has long been recognized for the quality of its educational offerings and as an economic engine powering California, and this new report helps to further illustrate and quantify the consequential impact of the CSU on the Golden State,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “A return of nearly seven dollars for every dollar invested in the university demonstrates the wisdom of continued bold investment in the university.”

Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales said the ICF study shows CSUSB’s significant role in the inland region’s economy.

“The study documents an impressive record of achievement by the CSU as a whole and also Cal State San Bernardino’s remarkable contributions to our region and the state,” said Morales. “I am proud to lead a university which is part of a system that so effectively utilizes tax dollars and returns them to our state’s economy sevenfold.”

Some of CSUSB’s other economic impacts on both the inland region and California highlighted by the CSU study, include:

  • Investment in CSUSB by the state and the spending of the university, its students, faculty, staff and alumni create a ripple effect that boosts the region’s and state’s overall economy, supporting jobs, industry activity and tax revenue. 
  • California and local governments annually receive more in CSUSB-supported tax revenue than the state’s investment in the university, making CSUSB increasingly valuable each year.
  • CSUSB alumni who remain in the Inland Empire earned incrementally higher earnings of nearly $2 billion in 2019 due to their CSUSB degrees. 
  • This increased spending power of IE-based CSUSB alumni supported an additional 10,500 jobs, and it generated $1.5 billion in industry activity and $118 million in state and local tax revenue.   
  • This increased spending power of CSUSB alumni working throughout California supported an additional 19,500 jobs, and it generated $3.6 billion in industry activity and more than $242 million in state and local tax revenue.

The study complements CSUSB’s own research and tracking that includes:

  • CSUSB ranks No. 7 among top U.S. colleges and universities educating economically disadvantaged students and graduating them into well-paying jobs.
  • Each year, CSUSB produces more than 5,000 job-ready graduates who fill and help attract high-wage, skilled jobs.
  • More than two-thirds of CSUSB’s 112,000 alumni remain in the Inland Empire and fill jobs in key industries that drive the local economy. 
  • CSUSB is a meaningful partner in the Inland Empire communities it serves and enjoys more than 500 partnerships with local businesses, nonprofits, K-12 districts, government agencies and other organizations.
  • Each year, CSUSB students, faculty and staff volunteer nearly 100,000 community service hours to local organizations – the equivalent of $3 million to local communities.

The economic impact study provides an even more comprehensive look at the return on California’s investment in the CSU. For every dollar invested by the state in the CSU, $6.97 of positive economic activity is generated in the state.

When the impact of the enhanced earnings of CSU alumni is factored in, the figure is even greater – $23.26 in total economic activity for every dollar invested. This figure demonstrates the ripple effect that each dollar of spending by the CSU and its students has on the state.

The report showed some of the significant impacts of the CSU that include:

  • $26.9 billion in industry activity throughout the state
  • $10.2 billion in labor income
  • $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue
  • The creation of over 209,000 jobs

For more information on the study, visit the CSU website