Economic Study Shows UCA a Sound Investment

An independent economic impact study shows the average annual income due to activities at the University of Central Arkansas contributes $426.1 million to the university’s six-county service area.

“The Economic Contribution of the University of Central Arkansas” report was released today. Researchers looked at income generated by UCA operations, visitor spending, non-local students spending, and student productivity. They applied a comprehensive model designed to quantify the economic benefits of UCA. Some of the highlights of the report are:

– For every dollar students invest in UCA, they receive a cumulative $5.30 in higher future income over the course of their working careers.

– State and local governments see a rate of return of 7.9 percent on their investment in UCA.

– For every dollar of state tax money invested in UCA, taxpayers will see a cumulative return of $2.40 in the form of higher tax revenues and avoided socials costs.

– Arkansas benefits from improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment, and crime, saving the public some $18.5 million per year.


– The accumulated credit hours achieved by former UCA students over the past 30 years translates to $329.5 million in added regional income each year due to the higher earnings of students and increased output of business.


“This report shows very clearly that UCA is a great value and the economic impact we have on our community and state,” said UCA President Tom Courtway. “The data shows a UCA education is well worth the investment by the students and the citizens of this state. We are pleased with EMSI’s findings and hope the citizens of Arkansas are pleased as well.”

The independent report was prepared by Idaho based company Economic Modeling Specialist Inc. (EMSI), a leading provider of socioeconomic impact and strategic planning tools to colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The company used two major analyses to conduct the study – investment and economic growth. Sources for the study included industry and employment date from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, earnings and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior, according to the report.

A copy of the report is available.