As a comprehensive institution of higher education within the Commonwealth of Virginia, Radford University is focused on fulfilling its primary mission of teaching, research and service. In servicing this mission, the university has had a profound impact on its surrounding communities as well as across Virginia. The 2022 Economic Impact Study details the valuable contributions the university makes to the regional and statewide economies.

Region of Impact

The study reveals the economic impact of Radford University on the Commonwealth of Virginia. It also defines a “region of impact” which is where faculty, students, and staff predominantly live, work and contribute to local economies. Radford University’s main campus is located in the City of Radford, but also has operations in Roanoke at Radford University Carilion and Roanoke Higher Education Center, as well as in Abingdon at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.


Total Economic Impact and ROI

The total economic impact of Radford University on the Commonwealth of Virginia was $421.7 million in FY2022, $390 million within the region. The impact is from direct expenditures for goods and services by the university, its faculty, staff, students and visitors in combination with the indirect and induced impacts of those dollars being respent in the state and regional economies.

For every $1 the Commonwealth of Virginia allocated to Radford University in FY2022, the university returned $6.35 in economic impact to the statewide economy. When the human capital improvements to FY2022 graduates were included, that benefit increased almost four times to $23.80.

Economic Impact $421.7 million
Return on investment $6.35 for every $1 of state funding

Employment Impact

The University’s employment impact is a total of 5,561 jobs in the Commonwealth. These jobs include not only direct employment by the university (1,574 jobs), but also jobs that were stimulated in Virginia through spending by the institution and its employees, students, and visitors (3,987 jobs).

Employment impact 5,561 jobs

Student Spending and Volunteerism

Radford University students are estimated to have injected $85.7 million into the statewide economy in FY2022, with 94% of spending occurring within the region. Students also dedicate more than 7,600 hours annually toward community service, with an estimated volunteerism impact of $229,109.

Student spending $85.7 million
Volunteerism 7,600 hours

Visitor Spending

Visitors to the university infused approximately $7.1 million into the regional economy in FY2022 through local spending on things such as lodging, food and beverage, retail shopping and recreation.

Visitor Spending $7.1 million

Alumni Spending

In addition to the university’s economic impact, Highlander alumni are estimated to contribute $2.2 billion annually to the Virginia economy through consumer spending. Seventy percent of Radford University alumni live in Virginia.

Alumni spending $2.2 billion

Human Capital Improvements

More than 2,000 individuals graduated with a degree from Radford University in FY2022, thereby increasing their earning potential in the job market. The human capital improvement of these graduates is estimated to bring $1.16 billion in additional income to the Virginia economy over the course of their careers.

Human Captial Improvements $1.16 billion


Economic Impact Study 2022

View the full report below.

Highlight Video

Video summarizing key findings from the study.


Economic Development News

  1. Radford University's Economic Impact Study Unveils Pivotal Role in Driving Virginia's Prosperity »


    The total economic impact of Radford University on the Commonwealth of Virginia was a staggering $421.7 million in FY2022, with $390 million remaining within the region.

  2. University president’s 2023 homecoming address defines his central goals for next two years  »


    President Bret Danilowicz put forth his two-year plan in the Bondurant Auditorium on Oct. 20. The primary components of his strategy include defining Radford’s distinctive nature, driving regional economic development, stabilizing student enrollment and repositioning resources.  

  3. University hosts economic development listening sessions with New River Valley stakeholders »


    Representatives from area chambers of commerce, localities and regional organizations in the New River Valley attended. The meetings, held Sept. 27 and Oct. 2, were designed to spark a dialogue between the university and local businesses and communities. 

  4. The HUB at Radford for Economic Development officially opens »


    The HUB at Radford for Economic Development officially opened following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 17, 2023, hosted by the Radford University Division of Economic Development and Corporate Education and the Radford Chamber of Commerce.