An eight-month study by national consulting firm Tripp Umbach illustrates the UM System has a $5.4 billion annual financial influence on the state. The 2017 fiscal year analysis factors in things like payroll and benefits, taxes paid to local and state governments, student spending, community benefits and visitors expenses.

Image courtesy of University of Missouri

“Given that our annual appropriations from the state are approximately $400 million each year, this means that taxpayers are receiving a return on their investment of 13.5 to 1, an impressive number,” says Mark McIntosh, UM System vice president of Research and Economic Development. “A vast number of our graduates are staying in Missouri and putting their education to the test in our workforce while our faculty across the four campuses are conducting research that addresses grand challenges facing our state and nation. This significant combination of workforce development and innovative discoveries in our labs is impacting thousands of Missourians every day.”

According to Paul Umbach, President and CEO of Tripp Umbach, he says the University of Missouri’s economic reach is far and wide throughout the state. He says UM fares better than several other university systems in its financial impact, including the Universities of Iowa, Connecticut and Pittsburg.

“One thing that’s different about Missouri than other states, is that there are large economic engines in the two principal cities and also in Rolla. And, Extension has spending in every one of the counties. There’s a lot of universities that pretty much have all their eggs in one place, but the University of Missouri System actually has spending in the other markets around the state,” Umbach says. “I feel like that is part of the magic of this system. Missouri is like a country – it’s the most urban place and the most rural place all in one place. From an economist perspective, that generates even more economic development when you have such diversity.”

Highlights of the study include:

  • More than $244 million in state and local revenue taxes collected because of the university by way of taxes on sales, food, gas, lodging, etc.
  • More than 61,000 people have jobs either directly or indirectly because of the system.
  • Of the four campuses, Mizzou has the greatest impact by far: $3.9 billion, $46,855 jobs, $117.4 million generated in state and local tax revenue.

The $50,000 study did not review the economic impact of MU’s athletics department. A previous study completed by a team of MBA faculty and students found that MU athletics contributed approximately $294 million to the local and state economies.

The research comes as the Missouri Legislature considers the level of funding for the state’s colleges and universities.

To view the report, click here.

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