Thu, Mar 29 2018
LeTourneau University is part of a new study released this week that has found that Christian Higher Education is responsible for more than $60 billion in economic impact annually on our nation’s economy.
LETU is one of the 142 members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities which commissioned the new research study by Philadelphia-based consulting firm Econsult Solutions, Inc. that analyzed data from CCCU member Christian colleges and universities nationwide.
As for a local economic impact, LETU employs over 870 faculty and staff, mostly in Longview, but also including those at LETU locations in the Dallas and Houston areas, as well as online faculty who can teach from anywhere. LETU employees specifically in the Longview area contribute to the local economy daily through shopping at local retailers, restaurants and more.
In the past decade, LETU has made more than $54.1 million in capital improvements which have added more than 177,000 square feet to university facilities, with many of the construction being done by local workers and craftsmen.
LETU students have volunteered over 68,700 hours of community service hours in the 2016-2017 year alone, including specified community service events such as the annual Longview Blitz.
The Counseling Center on the LETU campus has providing more than 8,700 counseling sessions since it opened in October 2013, with more than half of those sessions provided to local members of the East Texas community on a sliding-fee-based scale to assist those in need of financial assistance for counseling. The center continues to grow partnerships with local church and nonprofit organizations to expand opportunities for those local citizens in need of counseling.
LETU students are an asset to the local workforce through internships and externships locally, and our faculty and students have been known to work on research projects that benefit local businesses.
LETU educates students who become valuable members of society in pivotal roles as engineers, pilots, nurses, teachers, counselors, entrepreneurs and more, as well as preparing those who seek to pursue graduate studies as ministers, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians and more. More than half of LETU graduates polled report living and working in Texas, with nearly 20% of them right here in East Texas where they continue to contribute daily to the local economy.
The Belcher Center at LETU contributes significantly to the quality of life in Longview and East Texas by bringing in a wide variety of entertainment of all kinds and generating business for local restaurants and other businesses on show nights.
Adding together all the Belcher shows, commencement services, athletic events, preview weekends for prospective students and their parents, summer camps, outside rentals and other events held on campus and at the university’s Abbott Aviation Center at the East Texas Regional Airport, the university attracts an estimated 67,000 campus visitors annually to the Longview area. These visitors spend money at local restaurants, hotels, retailers and more—all adding to LETU’s local economic impact.
“The value proposition is clear: LETU graduates get jobs and an excellent return on the investment they’ve made in a college education,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford.
“We are a private university, but we do much public good,” he said. “We graduate classroom teachers, nurses, law enforcement officials, and mental health counselors who contribute to the welfare of our communities. We graduate builders who create jobs with their innovative ideas. And we contribute to the quality of life of East Texas through the Belcher Center, NCAA sports, and in ministries and churches.
“LETU is an international university that brings students to East Texas from around the U.S.A. and around the world,” Lunsford said. “Our significant impact will only increase in the years to come.”
Key findings of the national CCCU study recently released also reported that for every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions provide $5 in aid to that student through grants and scholarships. LETU currently provides nearly $16.5 million annual in institutional scholarship aid, including a new dual-credit scholarship for $16,000 for high school students who attend LETU after taking dual-credit courses.
The new national CCCU study also reported that student loan default rate among students at Christian colleges and universities is nearly half the national average, and even though CCCU schools are tax exempt, they still generate $9.7 billion in federal tax revenue each year. For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives CCCU institutions generate more than $20 in federal tax revenue. The report also showed that 1 in 3 CCCU students are first-generation college students and half of them come from families making less than $50,000 annually. Also, more than 1 in 3 CCCU students do community service while enrolled in college, and CCCU students perform an estimated 5.4 million hours of community service annually. To read the entire CCCU report, visit cccu.org/economic-impact/.
The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-entered higher education and to help institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.
LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, hybrid options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas and fully online programs. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.