Four University of Colorado campuses generated a total economic impact in Colorado of $12.35 billion in fiscal year 2016, including direct expenditures of $8.3 billion. That’s according to a new Economic Impact Study prepared by the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The study, released Thursday, examined the impact of campuses in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs, as well as the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
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The university system directly employed 32,386 faculty, staff and student workers, making it the second-largest employer in Colorado. Direct and supported employment totaled 53,442, with 24,662 employed at the Boulder campus.
CU enrolled 61,016 students in 2015 and awarded 14,479 degrees in fiscal year 2016.
“The University of Colorado remains an economic engine in the state of Colorado through educational, research, operational, and ancillary activities,” the report stated. “Students enroll at the university to earn an education, many of whom will enter the Colorado workforce. This labor force not only fills local employment and entrepreneurial needs, but also becomes a draw for businesses looking to locate in Colorado.”
The university generated $3.5 billion in non-capital revenues in 2016, with $924 million coming from sponsored programs and other restricted-fund activity. Sponsored programs came primarily from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
CU also generates a significant amount of activity from technology transfer, having formed 114 companies, with 110 continuing to operate in Colorado.
The study identified $797 million in student spending in 2016, with visitors related to the campuses spending an estimated $37.3 million.
The CU study comes on the heels of a study analyzing the economic impact of public higher education on Larimer and Weld counties. Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College and Front Range Community College generated economic impact of $2.4 billion, supporting 39,677 jobs, according to the study by Emsi, a Moscow, Idaho-based firm.