GSW contributes $94 million economic impact on region

Published 9:46 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

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AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) economic impact on the region was $93.6 million in fiscal year 2018, up nearly $5 million from the previous year’s total.

This data was published in the recent annual study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The study, commissioned by the University System of Georgia (USG), included economic data for all 28 System Schools and for the USG as a whole.

Georgia Southwestern’s economic impact grew by 5 percent from fiscal year 2017, to 2018, while the USG’s economic impact also increased by 5 percent. The report stated that the increase at GSW and across the USG is attributed to “spending by the institution and spending by the students” in each economic region.

“We’re proud that Georgia Southwestern is continuing to build momentum and foster growth in Southwest Georgia,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “The report also notes the nearly $50 million in economic impact directly related to student spending. Whether they go out to eat, put gas in their car, or buy a shirt locally, GSW students make a real difference for the Americus and Sumter County community.”

Most of GSW’s $93.6 million economic impact consists of personnel and operating expenses, budgeted expenditures and spending by students. The study found that GSW generated 1,061 full- and part-time jobs.

USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Ph.D., said, “While we remain focused on graduating more students, keeping college affordable and increasing our efficiency in delivering a quality education, we are proud our colleges and universities help power Georgia’s economy. USG and its 26 institutions play an important role in generating jobs and boosting businesses across the state, befitting the investment Georgia’s leaders have made in us.”

The study concluded that, on average, every dollar of initial spending by a USG institution generates an additional 47 cents for the economy of the region that hosts that college or university.

To calculate the impact for fiscal year 2018, the Selig Center analyzed data collected between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018. The annual study is conducted on behalf of the USG Board of Regents by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D., director of the Selig Center.

The full study with data for all 29 USG institutions is available at: