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      Local economy benefits from institutions

      College is expensive but the institutions aren't the only ones benefiting financially-firm college students. The University System of Georgia produces an annual report of the economic impact an institution has on an area. Two Albany institutions are providing a one-two punch to boosting the economy.The report indicates Darton College brought in $119 million to Albany and its surrounding counties. Albany State's total was just over $148 million.

      For both schools, student spending made up the biggest portion of the money, which isn't a surprise to Darton's Dean of Institutional Advancement Tracy Goode.

      "Anytime a new student comes into the area they're automatically going to set up home expenses, living expenses, they're going to go out to eat. Their relatives are going to come see them and stay in a hotel" said Goode.Besides student spending, operating expenses and personal services make up that grand total.

      Albany State's Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Vickie Oldham, has a few things in mind that would actually funnel more of that money into downtown Albany. "If there was, for instance, a shuttle service, the campus is close enough to provide this service for employees, faculty, and students for them to get down there and enjoy some of the restaurants, some of the coffee shops."

      Oldham adds in order for Albany to feel the full potential economic impact of the institutions, community leaders and school administrators must work together, which is in the early stages of happening.