Students walk on university campus

Radford University has released an economic impact analysis report detailing the contributions that the institution makes on the New River Valley region and Virginia. NRVRC and Roanoke Valley-Allegheny Regional Commission staff assisted with the development of the economic impact analysis, which uses IMPLAN economic impact modeling software to estimate the effects of spending by Radford University on the local economy. NRVRC worked with Radford University to gather data on this spending, including analysis of the university’s annual budget, mapping of the residence of university students and alumni, estimates of attendance at university events, and surveys of students and faculty to estimate their spending habits. The study found that Radford University contributes greatly to the local economy in many ways, including university spending on operations (an estimated $55.9 million spent within the region in 2015), salaries ($67.8 million), construction projects and capital expenditures ($29.0 million), spending by students ($40.7 million) and visitors to university events ($2.9 million). The economic impact model estimates the additional economic activity that this spending produces for the region, as local businesses that receive spending by Radford University make additional purchases and hire workers who shop at local businesses, generating further activity in the local economy beyond the initial spending by the university. Together, this spending generates over $313 million in economic activity in the New River and Roanoke Valley region in 2015, and over $360 million statewide. In addition, the study estimates the increased earning power of Radford University alumni that results from their advanced degrees, estimating additional earnings over the average high school graduate of nearly $787 million for the 50,000+ Radford University alumni living in Virginia. The full version of the 2016 economic impact study is available at: For more information, please contact Patrick O’Brien at NRVRC (email: or phone: 540-639-9313 x206), or Joe Carpenter at Radford University (