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Iona’s Economic Impact on New York State Totals $258 Million

Iona's New North Avenue Residence Hall
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (December 16, 2016) — Iona College contributes as much as $258.5 million a year to the regional economy, according to a report released this week by a commission of independent colleges and universities.
The study, conducted on behalf of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) by the Center for Governmental Research, shows that in 2015 the College’s spending translated into roughly $99.4 million in wages, was responsible for 1,850 local jobs, and contributed $7.3 million in state income and sales tax revenues for state and local governments. Additionally, another $37 million is estimated to come from student and visitor spending.
The results showed that the impact of Iona College, New Rochelle’s second largest private sector employer, actually increased by $8 million from 2013 estimates by the same organizations. The economic impact is measured in Iona’s direct purchases of goods and services, as well as the spending by its employees, students and visitors.
Iona College and its students benefit from their location in New Rochelle and, in turn, the City of New Rochelle and surrounding region directly benefit from the economic and service impact of the College. President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. noted, “Iona College strives to be a good neighbor to our good neighbors in New Rochelle and the surrounding communities.”
Iona’s impact is part of broader findings also included in the CICU study. It found that independent colleges and universities have a total statewide impact of $79.6 billion, and the Mid-Hudson Valley, where Iona is located, $4.8 billion.
“Private, not-for-profit colleges and universities are committed contributors to New York state’s economy,” said Laura L. Anglin, president of the CICU. “In addition to direct institutional spending and students’ discretionary spending, independent colleges and universities are destinations and attract thousands of visitors annually who further subsidize the towns and cities where these campuses are located. Sports, cultural events, museums, performing arts centers, business incubators and technical facilities draw people to these college communities and their surrounding neighborhoods.”  
The economic and service data address a common misconception that not-for-profit institutions such as Iona College do not contribute to local governments revenues while receiving the benefits of municipal services. While the College pays taxes on retail and commercial space that it owns, including along North Avenue, Iona’s impact on government tax revenues also includes:
  • additional taxes paid on higher earnings of College graduates who remain in the area;
  • income taxes paid by College employees;
  • sales taxes generated by student, faculty, staff and visitors of the College when they make purchases in the local areas; and
  • taxes paid by vendors and/or suppliers to the College along with tax revenues generated by the real estate, property and school taxes paid by resident Iona employees and graduates. 
While Iona’s economic impact is significant, the College also contributes to the social, cultural and service fabric of its surrounding communities. A recent compilation of Iona student service hours, for the President’s Honor Roll application in June 2016, reported 66,381 hours, which include academic internships such as student teaching, criminal justice, social work and speech communications. The many service activities Iona students engage in include tutoring at-risk students in grades K-6 through the Abraham House, participating in Boys and Girls Clubs of New Rochelle, visiting elderly Christian Brothers at the St. Joseph Residence, assisting with home repair and clean-up in disaster-impacted communities through the St. Bernard Project/Habitat for Humanity, spending time with sick children at Blythedale and Montefiore Hospitals, delivering food and clothing to the homeless of New York City through Midnight Run, serving meals to the hungry, visiting women in the Bedford Correctional Facility through the Woman to Woman program and facilitating activities at the Wartburg Senior Center.  Iona has been repeatedly recognized for community service by the US Department of Education.
About Iona College: Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. Iona’s 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 40,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.  With 54 undergraduate programs and over 30 minors, Iona has many accreditations including AACSB (earned by less than 5 percent of the world's business programs), NCATE/CAEP, CSWE, AAMFT and others. It is the second largest private employer in the city of New Rochelle.