UNCA attracts more than degree-seeking students to the Asheville area: It sparks a $268 million economic impact, according to a recent study.
The findings come from local research economist Tom Tveidt of SYNEVA Economics. He once led the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce's economic-development research, and calls UNCA a “key driver of economic growth in Western North Carolina.”
In a press release from the university, he says, “Now, as the creative sector in Asheville has grown more important, the university’s economic value to the area has also grown.”
UNCA last commissioned an Economic Impact Study in 1995. At that time, the university's total economic impact (when adjusted for inflation) was about $100 million less than its impact on the region today. The study used spending as the primary factor to measure economic activity, and calculated UNCA's total economic impact by looking at five major economic components: campus operations, student spending, outside visitors, graduate education premium and annual new resident attraction.