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Coastal Carolina has significant impact on state economy

October 11, 2013

The economic impact of Coastal Carolina University on South Carolina was near $498 million in 2012, according to a study just released by the Center for Economic and Community Development in CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

The study marks the university’s first statewide assessment of its economic impact; previous studies have provided economic data relating specifically to Horry and Georgetown counties.

Highlights from “The Economic Impact of Coastal Carolina University on the State Economy in 2012” include the following:

• $498 million in total output (sales)

• $182 million in labor income

• 4,132 full and part-time jobs *

The researchers also examined the university’s general expenditures, budgeted and allocated construction expenditures, and estimates of student and associated visitor spending. The following expenditures indicate the university’s impact in South Carolina:

• $120 million in direct expenditures

• $84 million in construction expenditures

• $109.7 million in student expenditures

• $5.3 million in visitor spending

"Colleges and universities in the state are required to demonstrate their contribution to economic development," said Coastal Carolina University President David A. Decenzo. "This study shows the increasingly significant role Coastal Carolina University plays in the state's economy.”

The study was prepared by Robert Salvino, research economist for the Center for Economic and Community Development and associate professor of economics, and Caitlin Thomas, a summer research associate who is completing a master’s degree in economics at Murray State University. Gary Loftus serves as the director of the center.

Created by the Horry County Higher Education Commission in 1988, the Center for Economic and Community Development conducts applied research and acts as an information center for economic data relating to the region. The center also seeks to provide the expertise necessary for community leaders to advance the region’s diversity and quality of life.

Founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College, Coastal Carolina University is now the fourth largest university in the state, with an enrollment of more than 9,300 students. Since 1993, when CCU broke away from the USC system and established itself as an independent state university, enrollment has more than doubled. To accommodate its growth, the university is amidst a major construction campaign expected to top $254 million in the next few years.

* Notes: CCU provides part-time on-campus jobs for more than 1,100 students. Almost half of all CCU students work on a part- or full-time basis while enrolled in classes. Included in CCU's 1,363 full-time equivalent personnel are more than 1,000 full-time faculty/staff.

Read the full study: The Economic Impact of Coastal Carolina University on the South Carolina Economy