Boston University is an internationally recognized center of higher education and research and the nation’s fourth-largest independent not-for-profit institution of higher education. It is also the largest independent institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The University has an annual budget of nearly $1.9 billion and enrolls nearly 33,000 students in 17 schools and colleges. The former three-time Poet Laureate of the United States and three Nobel Laureates are members of the faculty. In addition, eight Boston University students have been named Rhodes Scholars and five students have been named Marshall Scholars. With nearly 4,800 international students from 133 foreign countries, the University ranks 10th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled. Boston University faculty generate more than $477 million in research and training grants and contracts annually. In addition, according to a survey of North American universities, the University recently ranked 35th in the nation in the number of start-up companies formed and 79th in the nation in the number of patents received as a result of faculty research.

For more than a century and a half, Boston University has been a leader in higher education. It has been and continues to be a major resource to the City of Boston, the cities and towns in the Boston Metropolitan Area, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Local citizens and local businesses benefit from Boston University’s spending, the employment opportunities created by the University’s spending, and the many cultural, educational, and social services that are offered to the community by University faculty, staff, and students.

This report describes the economic impact that Boston University has on each of three geographical regions: the City of Boston, the Boston Metropolitan Area (all cities and towns in Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Plymouth counties), and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Social Programs and Services describes many University-sponsored and University-related programs and services that affect both the economy and the quality of life in these regions.