Seton Hill University Contributes more than $116 Million to Pennsylvania Economy

Seton Hill University made an estimated $116.8 million impact on the Pennsylvania economy and produced more than 1,000 jobs in 2018, according to a study released by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. 

Seton Hill’s impact increased by more than $46 million since the last AICUP economic impact study was released in 2016. That study showed Seton Hill contributed $70.5 million in 2014. 

“The AICUP study confirms that Seton Hill University – along with other independent colleges and universities - continues to make a profound economic impact locally, regionally and statewide,” said Seton Hill President Mary C. Finger. “Over a four-year period, Seton Hill’s economic impact has increased by more than $46 million, which is a testament to the university’s continued growth. Since 2014, Seton Hill has increased enrollment, added additional academic and residential facilities and expanded its academic offerings, including new majors in Cybersecurity and Nursing. This growth – both on our hilltop campus and in our downtown Greensburg facilities – continues to drive the expansion of the economy in Greensburg and beyond.” 

The study, which was conducted by Parker Philips, Inc., a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis, considered the direct spending on operations, wages and benefits, and capital projects by Seton Hill University and the estimated increase in demand for goods and services in industry sectors that supply or support the University. The study also measured the effect of student and visitor spending and the induced effect of increased household income.

According to the study, Seton Hill University supports and sustains 1,009 jobs. This includes:

  • 655 direct jobs sustained by the University;
  • 112 indirect jobs created by supply and equipment vendors and contractors; and
  • 242 induced jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants and retail stores in support of Seton Hill’s faculty, staff, students and visitors. 

The study also calculated tax revenues generated by this economic activity including sales tax, property tax, personal income tax, and corporate income taxes. The study concluded that Seton Hill University generates about $5.4 million in tax revenues annually for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for local governments. 

Beyond this direct economic impact, Seton Hill University is embedded in the community in a variety of ways, such as: 

  • Seton Hill students, faculty and staff spent more than 8,400 hours last year volunteering for local community organizations;
  • 98 percent of the Seton Hill Class of 2018 were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation. About 76 percent of Seton Hill graduates are employed in the Pittsburgh region.
  • The Seton Hill Center for Orthodontics serves 1,000 patients annually – half of whom are low-income;
  • Seton Hill’s partnership with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine brings medical students – and their families – to Greensburg to study and work in clinical rotations, resulting in an annual economic impact of about $17 million as of 2014. 
  • Seton Hill’s arts facilities in downtown Greensburg bring art shows and music, dance and theatre performances to the community, increasing visitors to the city and contributing to the arts and cultural life of the area.

Seton Hill joins with the 12 other independent colleges and universities in the Metro Pittsburgh area in creating a total economic impact of $5.2 billion in 2018, according to AICUP. In addition to Seton Hill, Metro Pittsburgh independent colleges and universities include Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Duquesne University, Geneva College, La Roche College, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, Saint Vincent College, Washington & Jefferson College, Waynesburg University and Westminster College.

Statewide, AICUP member schools contributed more than $24 billion to the Pennsylvania economy. A brochure containing the major findings in the report is on AICUP’s website.

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), the only statewide organization that serves exclusively the interests of private higher education within the Commonwealth, exists to complement and support the work of campus leaders.  With a membership of more than 90 private colleges and universities within Pennsylvania, the Association provides a variety of services and programs tailored specifically to the needs and situation of independent higher education.  A list of AICUP’s member colleges and universities is included on its website at

Seton Hill University Economic Impact

SHU Economic Impact AICUP Study Infographic

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