How Local Universities Enhance Community Development

Universities bring so many benefits to communities across the nation and the cities that are considered “college towns” are booming and thriving in today’s economy. Small and large universities alike further the development of communities with educational opportunities, employment, and by helping local businesses. By bringing numerous students to the community every semester, more money is put into the local economy.

Universities allow for job employment on many levels and can create thousands of jobs for a town. Jobs include academic, administrative, and maintenance type jobs. Faculty positions for professors, assistants, and interns can bring many intelligent members to the community. For non-degree bearing citizens, jobs in the administrative and maintenance field are also available.

Most universities allow employees to have free continuing education. This opens the door for a community to have more educated citizens than a community without a university. Degree-bearing citizens hold higher paying jobs and put more money into a town’s economy.

When a town has the opportunities for employment that a university brings, there is always a higher housing development rate. People want to live close to their jobs to save gas and travel time. Subdivisions will pop up to give people more housing options and apartments will have regular tenants.

Not only do the university employees need housing, but so do the students. Many students reside in on-campus housing, but a great number of older students rent apartments or houses off-campus, as well. Apartment renting and leasing is important in university towns to accommodate the thousands of students who need somewhere to live during the semester. Apartment complexes create more jobs for construction workers and maintenance personnel and in turn, it means more money for the community’s economy.

For the community, more money means more business opportunities for small and large business owners. As development takes place with a higher population and more jobs, university towns attract larger businesses to be built. Visitors from smaller neighboring towns without as many resources will come and put money into the university town.

Tourism is one of the best ways to advertise a town and bring in new visitors and guests to a university town. It brings in more money and helps businesses thrive. Universities that offer unique programs can bring in more guests and tourists who don’t have access to such programs in their own area.

Keynote speakers and lectures on particular subjects bring an audience from all over the region. Concerts, theater programs, and performing arts showcases allow for the arts to grow in a community that may otherwise not have a contribution to the arts. By bringing in concerts and lectures by people from foreign countries, universities offer cultural diversity.

By having a foreign student program, more people from other countries will visit a university town as opposed to towns without one. Students from all over the world will consider the university when looking at higher education opportunities in the United States. Many of these students continue to work at the university upon graduation and remaining in the town.

There are so many opportunities for a town and community to thrive when a local university is built. Education, employment, improved economy, and population growth are several ways universities help local areas. Development will always continue for university towns as more students attend the university, citizens receive jobs, and businesses continue to benefit.