The University, its employees and students directly contribute more than $600 million to the McLean County economy. That spending returns more than $10 million in tax revenues to the area.

“Bloomington-Normal and McLean County benefit greatly from the money students spend here. When we broke down the numbers, we found that every dollar a student spends here puts an additional 48 cents back into our local economy,” said Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development Director Frank Beck.

He and James Payne, former ISU economics professor, completed an economic impact study that took into consideration the off-campus spending by freshmen and sophomores who live in residence halls. Local spending by upperclassman and graduate students, including rent and groceries, was also  noted.

They measured spending by students who enroll from hometowns outside of McLean County. In fiscal year 2010, university spending helped return $10 million in property tax revenue and $1.8 million in sales tax revenue to the local economy.

“This is an important contributor to the economic health of McLean County because the money those students are spending is coming into our area from other parts of Illinois, and from other states and nations around the world,” Beck said.