Economic Impact of KWU on Salina

Written by on September 20, 2018

The Big Business of Higher Education

Most of the time when people see the word “Economy” in the newspaper, they skip to the next page. Well, that’s how my generation is anyway. But what if I told you… yes YOU, that the economy could be a lot more interesting than you think.

I had a phone interview with Eric Brown, member of the Salina Chamber of Commerce, about a week ago to go over what economic impact KWU has on the city of Salina.  To be honest, he was a lot more thrilled to talk about it than I was, until he started going into detail.

“Kansas Wesleyan has a tremendous impact on the economy of Salina.” said Brown.

Kansas Wesleyan provides Salina with roughly 750 students, who spend their money on entertainment, gas, food, groceries, etc. The money that you use at any of the businesses in Salina ends up circulating through the city to maintain production, distribution, trade, goods, and services.

K-dub also has a great group of staff members and alumni who help in making the Salina economy successful. Not only do these people pay for gas, food, groceries, etc. They also help out the community by buying homes, purchasing vehicles, paying  taxes, and filling job positions. The total amount of spending is what drives the economy. The more people buy and spend, the better the economy is ran.

About a week later, I also had a talk with Kansas Wesleyan’s President, Matt Thompson, and asked him how the community of Salina impacts Kansas Wesleyan.

“The City of Salina really excels in providing our students with part-time jobs, internships, hosting students as host parents or host families, and  providing our students with jobs after they graduate Kansas Wesleyan” said president Thompson.

He went on to say the Salina community also helps Wesleyan’s  success because the community loves to attend theater, music, plays, sports events, and even goes as far as making generous donations towards the building of our school. Without the generous donations of the community in Salina, K-dub would not have the amazing football field or the additions we have made to the science building here on campus.

Because Salina gives K-dub so much, we try to give back to the community in many ways. For example, a lot of our faculty is involved in nonprofit organizations, churches, city boards, as well as volunteer work. Not only are our staff involved in churches and volunteer work, but our students are too. In fact, we are ranked number two in the nation for NAIA volunteer hours.

“Our students here at Kansas Wesleyan should really take pride in the 10 to 14 thousand community service hours they produced in roughly a year” said Thompson.

President Thompson also was impressed by how much revenue students at Kansas Wesleyan bring in a year. According to, the private schools in Kansas make up roughly 980 million dollars in revenue for the state of Kansas. Out of that 980 million dollars, Kansas Wesleyan gives Saline county about 40 million dollars in revenue each year our students come back. This includes things such as recruiting trips, athletic events, and using local people to help build our facilities.


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