Claflin University Helps to Make Orangeburg Strong by Generating $79 Million in Total Economic Impact

Nov 14, 2017

New UNCF Study Confirms that Claflin University Contributes to Local and Regional Economies 

Claflin University is an important economic engine in its community, generating substantial economic returns year after year, and a new landmark study commissioned by UNCF (United Negro College Fund) confirms it.

HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities documents the significant economic contributions of Claflin University and the nation’s network of HBCUs by quantifying their impact on the economy, employment and increased earning power of their students.  The study was underwritten by Citi Foundation and the economic estimates were prepared by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.  Key findings of the study* are below:

  • Claflin University generates $79 million in total economic impact.
  • Claflin University generates 835 jobs for their local and regional economies
  • The 2014 graduates of Claflin University can expect to earn $1 billion over their lifetimes, 70 percent more than they could expect to earn without a college credential.
    • For example: Quentin Rodriquez, ’14, is employed with the Department of Health and Human Services (Columbia, S.C.) as a human services specialist. Rodriquez earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claflin University in criminal justice.


The presence of Claflin University in this area means a $79 million boost to the area’s economic activity, on-campus, off-campus, and well beyond the campus, contributing to stronger growth and stronger communities.

This study makes clear that while benefits flow to Claflin University graduates who enter the workforce with sharper skills and vastly enhanced earning prospects, these benefits also flow to the local and regional economies connected to Claflin University.

“HBCUs like Claflin University are vibrant institutions that play a critical role in the economic development of our respective communities. I applaud UNCF for its extensive research which attempts to quantify the contributions of HBCUs -- not only in knowledge creation and research – but in workforce development, increasing employment opportunities and providing substantial revenue to the region.  We also believe that UNCF’s Career Pathway Initiative (CPI) is a game changer for our institutions. The goals of the grant are consistent with our mission of preparing graduates for the 21st Century workforce,” said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University.

“This new report changes the narrative and demonstrates that HBCUs, like Claflin University  are feeding the community’s need for an college-educated workforce and driving economic growth,” said UNCF’s President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax.  “These institutions have led the way in developing and polishing the practices necessary to get underprepared, first-generation students ready for college, but they also help fill critical jobs with college-educated workers in the community.”

HBCUs have long been bastions of academic achievement. It is clear to see, however, that the value of Claflin University is not solely confined to educational impacts. HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities demonstrates that Claflin University matters not only to its students, but also to the local, regional and national economies.

Please visit to access the full report.

About Claflin University
Founded in 1869, Claflin University is recognized by national publications such as U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly as one of America’s best liberal arts colleges. The University proudly serves the state of South Carolina, the nation and the world. Its beautiful historic campus is home for approximately 2,000 students from every region of the United States and more than 20 international countries. Claflin students demonstrate extraordinary achievement, distinctive confidence and a lifelong desire to transform society through visionary leadership. Its academic programs prepare students to compete and succeed in a global and technological society.

Outstanding alumni include Chief Justice of South Carolina Supreme Court (Ret) Ernest A. Finney, Jr.; renowned photographer, author and publisher Cecil Williams; internationally recognized artist Leo Twiggs; Vela McClam-Mitchell, president/CEO and owner, Georgia International Travel; and the eighth president of Claflin University, Dr. Henry N. Tisdale. For more information, visit or


About the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute

UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) is the nation's foremost research organization focusing on the educational status of African Americans from pre-school to and through college. Committed to understanding and expanding the pathways that lead to educational attainment, FDPRI conducts and disseminates research that informs policymakers, educators, philanthropists and the general public on how to best improve educational opportunities for and outcomes of African Americans and other underrepresented minorities across the pre-school-through-college-graduation pipeline.

About UNCF

UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF


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