University has $397.7 million economic impact

Marshall University contributed approximately $397.7 million to West Virginia’s economy and supported 3,267 jobs in 2014, according to a report released today.

The research by the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) showed that West Virginia’s 21 public institutions of higher education collectively contributed approximately $2.7 billion to the state’s economy and supported 22,000 jobs. The study, commissioned by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, centered around West Virginia’s 12 four-year institutions and nine two-year institutions.

The report underscores the strong return on the state investments in Marshall and all public higher education institutions. When combined with tuition, student spending and other sources of revenue, the economic impact of the 21 institutions was nearly seven times the amount of the state funding appropriated for the colleges and universities.

“West Virginia’s higher education system serves as a strong economic backbone for communities across the state,” said Dr. Paul Hill, commission chancellor. “Investments in higher education yield multi-faceted returns, from attracting new employers to driving the research and innovation needed to create a robust private-sector economy. Perhaps most importantly, our colleges and universities play a crucial role in keeping our young people working and living here at home. Year after year, we see that the majority of our in-state college graduates ultimately choose to build their careers, their families and their lives in the Mountain State.”

“West Virginia’s public institutions of higher education are critical institutions for improving the educational attainment of the state’s residents and workforce,” read the BBER report. “However, aside from their education benefits, these institutions are also important economic drivers in the communities where they are located.”

Other report highlights related to Marshall include:

  • The report indicated an estimated 3,267 employees were either directly employed by Marshall or supported by the economic activity generated by the university. These employees earned more than $207 million in compensation and generated about $9.2 million in state tax revenue.
  • The total impact on the local economy of expenditures by Marshall’s out-of-state student was approximately $29.8 million. This spending supported 212 jobs with employee compensation of about $7.3 million. Student expenditures also supported about $201,000 in various state taxes.
  • Spending by the university indirectly generated approximately $8.7 million in selected state tax revenue.

The impact figures for Marshall do not include medical facilities associated with the university, which reflect substantial economic ripple effects.

To download the study, visit