Investment by the state serves as seed money. To qualify as tier one, a school needs to spend $100 million on research. After initial investments by the state, additional funding is drawn from federal and private grants as a return on the investment. Investment in research and development yields a 20 to 30 percent rate of return to the state in terms of jobs and economic stimulus.
Money begets money, and the state’s additional investment in institutions of higher education would not only greatly expand the possibilities for students, resulting in a better educated populace, but would help the state maintain a competitive economic edge in technology and human capital in the 21st century.