State university-system schools pumped nearly $1.2 billion into the Augusta economy during the past fiscal year, according to an economic study released Thursday.
Most of that impact, according to the study by the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth, is generated by the Medical College of Georgia, which contributed an estimated $1.04 billion to the regional economy during the 2009 fiscal year.
Augusta State University accounted for $193 million.
The 35 institutions of the University System of Georgia had an economic impact of $12.7 billion on the state's economy, up from $12.1 billion in 2008.
"A major factor affecting the increases in the University System's impact is the growth in the number of students attending the system's public colleges and universities," said Dr. Marc Miller, dean of the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta State.
Most of the $12.7 billion in total economic impact was due to initial spending by the institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, other budgeted expenditures, and spending by the students who attended the institutions.
In the Augusta region, the study found that ASU and MCG produce 11,176 jobs.
Georgia's public higher education system generated 112,336 full- and part-time jobs. That's 2.8 percent of the state's employment.
"For each job created on a campus, there are 1.6 jobs that exist off-campus because of spending related to the college or university," said Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center. "In these ways, and many more, the university system plays a critical role in Georgia's economic recovery."