Public higher education institutions in Western North Carolina are responsible for injecting at least $2 billion into the state economy during the 2012-13 fiscal year through the combined impact of payroll, operational, construction and research expenditures by universities and community colleges, and the spending habits of their students, visitors and alumni. Of this $2 billion, roughly 75 percent or $1.52 billion stays right here in the 11 counties of WNC—Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Swain and Transylvania.
UNC Asheville’s Economic Impact
Those are among the findings of a comprehensive study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) to examine the impact of higher education on North Carolina. According to the study, UNC Asheville created $265.2 million in added regional income. This economic impact is equal to creating 5,832 new jobs in the four-county area of Buncombe, Haywood, Madison and Henderson.