The DFW Region is consistently first in the country in job growth and holds the greatest share of Texas students enrolled in higher education in Texas. Spending in higher education isn’t just about investing in students, families, and workforce — it’s about strengthening the region’s economy by investing in DFW’s intellectual capital. Legislative support and investment in higher education have a ripple effect on economic growth in construction, research and additional business activity in DFW.
That ripple effect is growing. The Texas Legislature has stepped up to the challenge by investing over $2 billion in North Texas higher education, a 6% increase from the last session. This investment doesn’t include the additional $35 million for the Texas Research Incentive Program that uses state dollars to match private donations to a select number of research institutions, of which DFW has the greatest share of eligible institutions. As the next legislative session gears up, DFW legislators are passionate about improving the funding and student experience in higher education.
DFW students don’t just study in the region; they stay and work here. Roughly 72% of DFW students stay and work in the region after graduation, the sixth highest rate in the country. With bright students staying to work for leading companies, the growth of business in the region is undeniable.
The region is booming, both economically and in higher education enrollment growth (more than four times the national average). Additional resources are needed to sustain this growth. Looking ahead, business and higher education leaders are committed to working together as advocates for this economic growth. Increased funding, policy improvements and additional resources are needed to preserve DFW’s place as the intellectual capital of Texas.
This article is part of the 2020 Higher Education Review Magazine.