According to research by West Virginia University, the state’s 21 public institutions of higher education contributed approximately $2.7 billion to the Mountain State’s economy in 2014. The research also showed that the public institutions supported 22,000 jobs.
The study, commissioned by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and completed by the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research, centered on West Virginia’s 12 four-year institutions and nine two–year institutions.
The two institutions that were the largest contributors to the overall impact were West Virginia University (main campus) at $1.4 billion and Marshall University at $397.7 million.
The impact numbers for both institutions do not include medical facilities associated with the universities, which reflect substantial economic ripple effects.
According to John Deskins, BBER director, the economic impact of WVU medical facilities alone during FY 2014 was $1.9 billion.
New River Community and Technical College produced the most significant impact of any two-year institution based upon state investment, with a ratio of $5.30 for every $1 invested by the state. WVU produced the most significant impact of any four-year institution based upon state investment, with a ratio of $7.50 for every $1 invested by the state.
The state’s appropriation for the colleges and universities proved to be a solid investment across the board.