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Invest in Us a Dollar, and You’ll Earn Back $12: LCOOU’s Economic Impact Report


Press Release

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University serves as an economic driver in the Lac Courte Oreilles and Sawyer County communities. Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics, performed an economic impact study on Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU). The results use the University’s fiscal year 2021-2022 data.

The economic impact analysis speaks to the University’s impact on the Northern Wisconsin Service Area economy. It discusses the University’s added income to the region.

“LCOOU added $20.9 million in income to the Northern Wisconsin Service Area… This contribution that the university provided on its own is nearly two-thirds as large as the entire Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation industry in the region,” Lightcast says. 

That impact comes from the University’s various spending impacts. Those categories include the operations, construction, visitor, student, volunteerism, and alumni spending impacts. Not only does the University generate regional income through contracting vendors and retaining students, but it also contributes to the region’s economy by opening volunteer opportunities for students and faculty.

The second section of the report, the investment analysis, explains the expected benefits for the region’s residents that come from investing into the university. Investors include students, donors, and regional stakeholders. The investment analysis concludes that each $1 LCOOU students invest into an education at the University grows into $12 in benefits over their careers. From the taxpayer’s perspective, savings in taxpayer money will come from the improved lifestyles of LCOOU students. Lastly, the impact model calculated a $2.4 million net present value for the larger U.S. society.

Still, the previous numbers, impressive as they are, do not report the unquantifiable benefits we provide our Native students in the moment. They earn their education from an Ojibwe Tribal University that honors their past and strengthens their future. They earn their education while remaining close to family and enriching themselves even further into their histories and cultures.

Nonetheless, the Lightcast report combines the economic impact analysis and the investment analysis into quite the bottom line: “For every dollar invested in LCOOU, people across the nation will receive a cumulative value of $1.20 in benefits. This means that the benefits not only cover the cost of society’s funding, but also generate a surplus of benefits for people in the U.S.”

The full economic impact report is available on our leadership webpage.

About Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University’s mission is to provide Anishinaabe communities with post-secondary and continuing education while advancing the language, culture, and history of the Ojibwe.


Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University (LCOOU) is a non-profit Ojibwe tribal college. We are an open-door institution that is proud to serve American Indian students. LCOOU welcomes non-native students and celebrates a diverse student population at all of our locations.


Learn more at 

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