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Economic Impact Study highlights

The University of Rhode Island is the state’s public research university, and its leading provider of four-year undergraduate and graduate education. As a significant enterprise in its own right and through its mission of education, research, outreach, and community engagement, URI is a major contributor to the ongoing development of Rhode Island’s economy. The URI Foundation, on behalf of the University, commissioned Appleseed, Inc. of New York City to produce a report on URI’s economic impact on the State of Rhode Island.

URI revenues

In FY2012, URI’s revenues totaled nearly $469 million,* more than half of which were derived from sources outside the state. Student tuition and fees accounted for 51 percent of total revenues.

Economic impact

• The University directly and indirectly generated $726 million in statewide economic activity, supported 8,200 jobs, and provided $392 million in wages—about 2 percent of all wage and salary employment in Rhode Island.

• URI is the sixth largest employer in the state, employing 3,675 people in FY2012 on all four campuses.

• Every state dollar invested in the University generates nearly $6.70 in statewide economic activity.

• The University spent $86 million on construction, $57 million of which was paid to Rhode Island-based contractors, directly supporting 429 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in construction and related industries.

• The University spent $98 million on purchases of goods and services (other than construction), 46 percent of which were made from Rhode Island companies and organizations.

• The University’s purchases of goods and services from Rhode Island companies directly supported 311 FTE jobs at these companies.

Alumni impact

• As of last summer, more than 48,400 URI graduates lived in the state, and they accounted for about 22 percent of all Rhode Islanders with at least a four-year degree.

• The report estimates that in 2011, the knowledge, skills, and experience these 48,400 Rhode Islanders acquired while studying at URI increased Rhode Island’s gross domestic product by $3.5 billion—equal to about seven percent of the state’s $50.1 billion GDP.

Student and visitor spending

• The study estimates that off-campus spending by out-of-state students totaled about $82.4 million, supporting more than 1,100 FTE jobs in Rhode Island. Using the multiplier effect, this spending directly and indirectly resulted in 1,440 FTE jobs, and $42 million in wages.


• Competitive research grants awarded to the University have increased 64 percent since 2007, with 80 percent of research funding coming from the federal government.

• In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the URI Research Foundation filed 42 U.S. patent applications, was awarded 22 new patents, entered into 10 agreements for use of the University’s intellectual property, and assisted in the formation of three new companies engaged in the commercialization of University research.

• During the first eight months of Fiscal Year 2013, the pace of technology transfer accelerated even further, with the completion of 21 additional intellectual property agreements and the formation of four new companies.

*Source: URI Audited Financial Statement Fiscal 2012

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