University of Colorado campuses drive $10.8 billion in economic impact

With inclusion of CU affiliate hospitals, the figure reaches $17.2 billion
By Staff

The University of Colorado generated an economic impact of $17.2 billion across the state during the last fiscal year, results of the system’s vital mission to provide outstanding teaching, research, community engagement and health care.

The figure comes from a new study presented in preliminary draft form at Wednesday's meeting of the Board of Regents Finance Committee. The Business Research Division of CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business reports that $10.8 billion of the total economic impact stemmed from the four CU campuses, with another $6.5 billion contributed by the two CU-affiliate hospitals – UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado – at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study looked at the 2022-23 fiscal year, when CU directly employed 43,255 faculty, staff and student workers earning $3.6 billion in salaries and benefits. The university operated on $5.2 billion in revenue, of which $1.7 billion was tied to sponsored programs and other restricted fund activity.

CU is among the state’s Top Five largest employers.

Besides employing thousands, CU helps drive Colorado’s economy by buying from local vendors, attracting investment, educating the local workforce and delivering research discoveries.

Economic impact figures include employee and student worker earnings, operating expenditures, construction, research, and spending by students and visitors. The study did not include the impact of alumni, retirees, football and technology transfer.

A powerhouse for discovery, CU collaborates in a research triangle that includes universities, businesses and federal laboratories. CU’s research expenditure activities alone had a $3.2 billion impact last year.