University of Louisiana System Has $3.4 Billion Annual Impact

BATON ROUGE – The eight universities that make up the University of Louisiana System have an annual economic impact of $3.4 billion and an $8 return for every dollar of state investment. These numbers as well as job creation, workforce impacts, research and service cost savings, event impacts and volunteerism were outlined in an economic and community impact study report released today.

“The University of Louisiana System is a tremendous investment as our universities drive our regional and state economies. We produce graduates critical to Louisiana’s workforce, fuel economic growth through research and service programs, and enhance the lives of Louisiana’s citizens by providing important programs that enrich our core teaching mission,” said UL System President Randy Moffett.

Moffett initiated the eight-university study in August to gauge the reach of UL System institutions. “We are often asked what we do and why we matter. In this age of accountability these are important questions that need to be answered,” said Moffett.

The study was conducted by Applied Technology Research Corporation, UL System staff and research teams from each of the eight campuses. It quantifies and describes the impacts of the eight institutions in four key areas: spending, teaching, research and service, and quality of life.

UL System schools have a direct impact on the economic success of the state and, especially, the regions in which they are located. Faculty, staff, student, retiree and visitor spending as well as university operations, health insurance and campus construction expenditures yield a $3.4 billion annual impact of spending.  

Taking the UL System’s annual impact calculation and applying it to Louisiana’s investment of state funding reveals an $8 return on every $1 Louisiana invests in the UL System. Those are dollars going back into Louisiana’s economy through university-related expenditures.

UL System spending also creates 34,800 non-university jobs throughout Louisiana. These are jobs that support expenditures such as construction, healthcare, transportation, retail sales, and other service industries.

Graduates from UL System schools make up a large proportion of Louisiana’s workforce. Combined, the eight institutions awarded over 455,000 degrees in the last 50 years.   Additionally, the UL System leads the state in the production of bachelor’s degrees, particularly in areas such as computer science, engineering and engineering technology, healthcare, business, and education.

The added value of UL System graduates to Louisiana’s economy in terms of increased taxable earnings over the past 10 years is $6.5 billion. This is a calculation derived from a conservative estimate that 65 percent of UL System graduates remain in the state to work.

University of Louisiana System schools fuel economic growth and support businesses and citizens in Louisiana through innovative research and development, providing strategic planning and professional services, as well as offering needed community services.

The study captured data on 188 research centers and service programs supported by the eight universities. These include 28 in economic development, 23 in engineering and technology, 24 in environment and life sciences, 27 in cultural development, and 86 in education, health and human services.

Minimal impact of these activities shows the creation or sustainment of 26,300 jobs, $3 billion in business revenue generated or saved, $132 million investment dollars stimulated, and $108 million in direct cost savings of services.

The eight universities enhance the life experiences of students, employees and communities by creating unique learning and cultural opportunities that would not likely be available otherwise. Louisiana’s citizens rely on University of Louisiana System campuses to serve as the hub for cultural programming, family-friendly activities, and community-building events above and beyond university activities. 

On average, there are 100 events taking place every day at UL System campuses. Last year, campus events attracted 3.7 million attendees, 45 percent of those being off-campus visitors that spend money in the communities.

UL System universities also enrich the lives of Louisiana’s citizens through volunteerism and service-learning. In 2008-09, UL System employees and students volunteered 2.4 million hours in their communities.

A strong commitment to service-learning by the UL System was solidified by a $1.2 million grant from the National Corporation for Community Service’s Learn and Serve America Division, which has already yielded 70 campus projects and nine mentoring programs across the state.

“Institutions of higher learning have a direct impact on the economic success of a state and region, and there is a direct correlation between higher education and the positive outcomes on quality of life measures,” said Moffett. “The University of Louisiana System is eight universities strong, each providing a quality higher education experience that meets the needs of the state and the communities they serve.”


Results of the Economic and Community Impact Study can be found at This includes campus-specific data, community testimonies, and a downloadable report. In addition, video testimonies that accompany the report findings can be viewed at the UL System’s special YouTube site,