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America’s Urban Campus: Chicago a Global Destination for Higher Education and Post-Graduate Employment

AUC_LogoNewly formed America’s Urban Campus® (AUC), a consortium of 17 not-for-profit Chicago-area colleges and universities, released today the results of an in-depth study on how Chicago’s higher education sector impacts the city, establishing Chicago as a global destination for higher education and post-graduate employment.

The study, conducted by Anderson Economic Group, LLC, and funded by The Chicago Community Trust, surveyed Chicago’s AUC institutions to determine how the schools collectively impact the workforce, support local businesses and provide a new way of thinking about educational, economic and cultural development. According to the AUC findings, Chicago is a premiere education hub in the United States and beyond.

“The America’s Urban Campus study definitively proves Chicago is a world-class educational city that attracts students from all over the nation and throughout the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are proud to be a versatile and successful city for higher education, and our Chicago-area institutions continually provide students with excellent education and post-graduate opportunities.”

Over a nine year period from 2003 to 2012, the number of degrees and certificates awarded by Chicago-area schools increased by 26 percent. Additional impacts include:

  • National Education: In 2013, AUC schools educated more than 216,000 students from every state in the country and more than 100 countries around the world. Chicago ranks third in the nation in total number of students.
  • Economy and Workforce: Economic activity from AUC schools and their students supported 43,000 jobs, 4 percent of the overall Chicago workforce, and $10.8 billion in spending in Chicago in 2013. One out of four bachelor degree-holding Chicago residents graduated from an AUC school.
  • Local Youth: AUC schools and universities invest in the future of Chicago education with 1,400 documented partnerships and programs in Chicago Public Schools. The programs involve more than 42,000 CPS students at 578 schools and provide opportunities for students to prepare for post-secondary education.

Additionally, through partnerships with major organizations like World Business Chicago, Choose Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and The Chicago Loop Alliance, AUC is committed to educating the future leaders of the City of Chicago, supporting businesses seeking talent and providing social and cultural opportunities for graduates to call Chicago their home.

“These findings demonstrate the critical role America’s Urban Campus institutions play in sustaining Chicago’s position as a global cultural and economic hub,” said Walter E. Massey, President of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “Our schools make significant contributions to the local economy and community and are producing the leaders who will shape the twenty-first century, from the arts, commerce, and sciences to government, education, and sustainability.”

For more information on AUC universities and colleges’ impact on Chicago education, economy and culture, along with the full study, visit

Download the report here AUC REPORT_FINAL11.13.pdf

About America’s Urban Campus®

America’s Urban Campus (AUC) is a consortium of 17 not-for-profit of Chicago’s largest colleges and universities formed in 2013 to enhance the image of Chicago as a global destination for higher education and build upon the strength of its member institutions as Chicago’s economic and social drivers. AUC is committed to supporting initiatives, facilitating job opportunities and foster connections by investing in the future of Chicago through education and research. The 17 AUC member colleges and universities include Adler School of Professional Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago State University, City Colleges of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, John Marshall Law School, Loyola University, North Park University, Northwestern University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University, Saint Xavier University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago.


For more information, contact:

Marla Saret, Edelman


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