The magnitude of the CSU’s economic impact on California can be compared to the state’s annual investment in the university system. In 2008-09, the state’s investment in the CSU (operating and average capital appropriations) totaled $3.12 billion. For every dollar the state invests in the university, the impact of CSU-related expenditures alone creates $5.43 in total spending impact. When the impact of the enhanced earnings of CSU graduates is included, the ratio rises to $23 in total spending impact for every dollar the state invests in the CSU.
These figures show that the CSU has a massive economic impact on California with state and local governments — annually getting back more in taxes than the state’s annual investment in the CSU, making the CSU increasingly valuable every year.