Economic Impact Study 2017

As the anchor academic institution for higher education in Asheville and one of the top 20 employers, UNC Asheville serves as an economic driver for the region. Since its founding in 1927, the university has been an intellectual and creative hub, creating jobs, educating citizens, attracting visitors, residents and new students, and building on the strengths of a region inherently innovative and inspiring. UNC Asheville's 2017 economic impact study was conducted by Tom Tveidt of SYNEVA Economics LLC.

$450 Million in Economic Impact

UNC Asheville’s total economic impact is $450 million annually in the region, an increase of $100 million from the previous study completed five years ago. For every dollar the state of North Carolina appropriates to UNC Asheville, total economic output increases by $11.30 in the Asheville area. Categories of impact include:

  • Campus Operations of $278 million
  • Alumni Education Premium of $96.1 million accounting for the value of spending by the more than 7,000 alumni in the area, who have increased spending power attributed to the attainment of a bachelor’s or graduate degree
  • Student Spending of $44.3 million
  • Outside Visitor Spending of $15.3 million
  • Annual New Resident Attraction of $9.4 million
  • On-campus Capital Spending of $7 million in a single year

$164.4 Million in Income

Economic activity generated by UNC Asheville supports 3,911 local jobs, adds $164.6 million in local income within the four-county metropolitan area of Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison, and increases annual tax revenues by more than $62.4 million dollars.

$79 Million in Capital Projects

UNC Asheville is planning to invest more than $79 million in capital projects beginning in the current 2017 fiscal year through 2021.

$16.6 Million Contributed by Athletics

Of this total, $14.3 million is attributed to UNC Asheville Athletics Campus Operations with $2.3 million from outside visitors.

$12.6 Million Contributed by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

With over 2,500 members, OLLI is recognized as one of the largest and most innovative lifelong learning programs for older adults. The total impact of OLLI includes $2.8 million from OLLI operations and $9.4 million from annual new resident attraction.

100,000+ Volunteer Hours Annually

UNC Asheville's campus community contributed over 100,000 volunteer hours annually, representing significant civic engagement.

More Information

2017 Quick Facts Sheet & Complete Reports