Economic Development News

Lincoln University is vital to area's economy
Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:00 am
By: Mark Mehmert

When members of the 62nd and 65th colored infantries established what was then known as the Lincoln Institute in 1866, it probably would have been difficult to visualize just how important the institution they founded would become to our area. 

The school opened its doors in 1866, and moved to its present 167-acre campus in 1871.  By 1879 it was a State school, and in 1890 became a land grant institution.  In 1921 it took the name of Lincoln University, and has been conferring degrees to students across the nation since.   In 2013, the most popular undergraduate academic programs were Nursing Science, Business Administration and Criminal Justice. 

Lincoln’s 2013 enrollment totaled 3,043.  Of those, over 2,300 were at the main campus in Jefferson City.  Lincoln also offers dual credit courses, which in 2013 had enrollment of 563.

Lincoln University at a Glance
  • 2013 total enrollment: 3,043
    (1,874 were full time undergraduates)
  • Living on campus:  22.4%
  • Living off campus:  77.65
  • Missouri residents:  81.5%
  • International:  3.5%
  • Foreign countries represented:  25
  • Degrees conferred in 2013:  463

These students add a tremendous boost to our local economy.  The College Board (an association of over 6,000 educational institutions) estimates that each on-campus student at a 4-year school spends nearly $9,500 on room and board, with an additional $1,100 spent on transportation.   Much of the dollars spent on these needs are spent locally, and add to the local economy.

Lincoln University also conducts research in Life/Physical Sciences and Agricultural/Environmental Sciences arenas.  Not only do these research capabilities offer support to local companies, they are attractive to companies in related industries which consider expanding or relocating to our area.  “Today, research is part and parcel of a being a cutting-edge educational institution”, smiles Dr. Kevin Rome, Lincoln University President.

According to the Department of Higher Education, Lincoln had expenditures of nearly $55 million in 2011.  Combine those expenditures with an employment base of approximately 500 employees and that sets up Lincoln University as one of the bulwarks of our local economy.

“The histories of the area and Lincoln University have been intertwined for 148 years.  We’ve grown together, and we’re working hard to keep growing together”, remarked Dr. Rome.   “It’s a partnership which has a benefit to everyone.”


Dr. Rome hopes to grow enrollment in the coming years, not only because it fulfills the institution’s mission, but also for the economic benefits which higher education brings.  “As we continue to provide a nurturing, student-centered environment and continuously improve our efforts to deliver a quality educational experience which is economically achievable, we will continue to be an economic pillar of the Jefferson City area.” 

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