Skip to main content

Alumni Association Advocate

ESU Prepares Students, Serves Kansas and is a Critical Economic Engine for its Region

Higher Ed: An Investment for Kansas

Receive the Higher Ed Newsletter

Register to receiving the Hornets for Higher Ed newsletter.

What you can do

There's a lot of value in higher education in Kansas and you can help get the message across. Take some time to contact your legislator and share the value of higher education to the state and your community.

When speaking to your legislator:

  • Request investment in the future of Kansas through consistent, reliable funding for higher education that considers annual inflation
  • Request consistent, reliable funding for higher education that considers annual inflation

The burden is shifting

Kansas is shifting the financial burden of higher ed to students and Kansas families:

  • $2 million less state funding for ESU than in 2008
  • > 30% increase in expenses since 2008 based on the Higher Education Price Index
  • COVID-19 has further amplified budget gaps caused by decreased funding and increased expenses

Our graduates benefit Kansas

  • Students are career-ready and meet crucial state employment needs such as nursing, education and STEM careers.
  • More Tax Revenue – Bachelor’s degree holders contribute $9,300 more in tax revenue per year than those with less than a high school diploma (source: US Census Bureau American CommunitySurvey)
  • Less Government Assistance – State and local governments save an estimated $34,773/individual in government assistance programs (food stamps, public assistance, Medicaid) over the life time of individuals who complete a college degree instead of stopping after high school(source: US Census Bureau American Community Survey)

ESU grads live + work in Kansas

  • 87% of ESU undergraduate students are Kansas residents
  • 85% of ESU 2019-2020 graduates reported employment in Kansas (another 5.7% are employed in KCMO)
  • 62% of ESU graduate students are Kansas residents
  • 40,000 ESU alumni live in Kansas


  • 5X - ESU is the only public institution in KS named a College of Distinction as a result of our real-world, high-impact learning experiences
  • 77.6% - Highest retention rate in school history, above division II benchmarks thanks to our personalized student success approach
  • 96% - Career outcomes rate (4 yr. avg.): because Hornets graduate ready for the work force or for advanced studies
  • #1 - Lowest student debt of all public institutions in KS because we are focused on making education accessible and tuition affordable

$1 Million More – $1 million more in lifetime earnings for those who have a Bachelor’s Degree

The College Payoff. Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce

Vital Economic Engine

  • 700+ employees makes ESU the third largest employer in Emporia
  • ESU draws students from 30+ states and 35 countries
  • 100+ ESU athletic competitions bring 75,000 - 110,000 fans to Emporia, annually
  • May 2024 and 2026: NCAA National Track Championships will host 1,000+ student-athletes, coaches and officials, draw 2,000 spectators over the three days, and generate an economic impact of at least $2.4 million each year
  • Partner with the Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide meeting space, lodging, parking and event support for major events
Wooster Lake

“Providing expanded access to high-quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do.”

Economic Policy Institute, A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity