WCU's Impact

Enrollment and Alumni by County

Western Carolina University attracts students from across the state, with a heavy focus on serving students in the Western North Carolina region. Those students go on to have an impact as WCU alumni across the state as well. Select a county below to see current enrollment and alumni numbers by county.

County

Alumni:
Enrolled Students:

Alamance County

Alumni: 373
Enrolled Students: 100

Alexander County

Alumni: 158
Enrolled Students: 41

Alleghany County

Alumni: 37
Enrolled Students: 4

Anson County

Alumni: 33
Enrolled Students: 11

Ashe County

Alumni: 75
Enrolled Students: 34

Avery County

Alumni: 79
Enrolled Students: 23

Beaufort County

Alumni: 34
Enrolled Students: 9

Bertie County

Alumni: 7
Enrolled Students: 2

Bladen County

Alumni: 22
Enrolled Students: 4

Brunswick County

Alumni: 159
Enrolled Students: 42

Buncombe County

Alumni: 6,165
Enrolled Students: 1,060

Burke County

Alumni: 846
Enrolled Students: 212

Cabarrus County

Alumni: 606
Enrolled Students: 203

Caldwell County

Alumni: 393
Enrolled Students: 136

Camden County

Alumni: 12
Enrolled Students: 3

Carteret County

Alumni: 93
Enrolled Students: 32

Caswell County

Alumni: 29
Enrolled Students: 5

Catawba County

Alumni: 1,265
Enrolled Students: 343

Chatham County

Alumni: 143
Enrolled Students: 30

Cherokee County

Alumni: 872
Enrolled Students: 173

Chowan County

Alumni: 12
Enrolled Students: 8

Clay County

Alumni: 439
Enrolled Students: 81

Cleveland County

Alumni: 831
Enrolled Students: 178

Columbus County

Alumni: 40
Enrolled Students: 11

Craven County

Alumni: 100
Enrolled Students: 33

Cumberland County

Alumni: 259
Enrolled Students: 105

Currituck County

Alumni: 22
Enrolled Students: 12

Dare County

Alumni: 49
Enrolled Students: 19

Davidson County

Alumni: 609
Enrolled Students: 144

Davie County

Alumni: 236
Enrolled Students: 71

Duplin County

Alumni: 29
Enrolled Students: 13

Durham County

Alumni: 406
Enrolled Students: 73

Edgecombe County

Alumni: 17
Enrolled Students: 13

Forsyth County

Alumni: 1,248
Enrolled Students: 226

Franklin County

Alumni: 52
Enrolled Students: 22

Gaston County

Alumni: 1,233
Enrolled Students: 252

Gates County

Alumni: 3
Enrolled Students: 5

Graham County

Alumni: 344
Enrolled Students: 50

Granville County

Alumni: 72
Enrolled Students: 34

Greene County

Alumni: 6
Enrolled Students: 4

Guilford County

Alumni: 1,332
Enrolled Students: 263

Halifax County

Alumni: 39
Enrolled Students: 12

Harnett County

Alumni: 98
Enrolled Students: 33

Haywood County

Alumni: 2,762
Enrolled Students: 366

Henderson County

Alumni: 2,252
Enrolled Students: 414

Hertford County

Alumni: 16
Enrolled Students: 1

Hoke County

Alumni: 30
Enrolled Students: 12

Hyde County

Alumni: 7
Enrolled Students: 2

Iredell County

Alumni: 663
Enrolled Students: 218

Jackson County

Alumni: 2,863
Enrolled Students:738

Johnston County

Alumni: 277
Enrolled Students: 87

Jones County

Alumni: 5
Enrolled Students: 2

Lee County

Alumni: 92
Enrolled Students: 16

Lenoir County

Alumni: 30
Enrolled Students: 10

Lincoln County

Alumni: 511
Enrolled Students: 168

McDowell County

Alumni: 1,474
Enrolled Students: 248

Macon County

Alumni: 1,474
Enrolled Students: 248

Madison County

Alumni: 360
Enrolled Students: 45

Martin County

Alumni: 3
Enrolled Students: 5

Mecklenburg County

Alumni: 2,729
Enrolled Students: 569

Mitchell County

Alumni: 126
Enrolled Students: 14

Montgomery County

Alumni: 58
Enrolled Students: 17

Moore County

Alumni: 172
Enrolled Students: 49

Nash County

Alumni: 94
Enrolled Students: 23

New Hanover County

Alumni: 268
Enrolled Students: 43

Northampton County

Alumni: 13
Enrolled Students: 4

Onslow County

Alumni: 139
Enrolled Students: 78

Orange County

Alumni: 266
Enrolled Students: 74

Pamlico County

Alumni: 6
Enrolled Students: 2

Pasquotank County

Alumni: 18
Enrolled Students: 11

Pender County

Alumni: 48
Enrolled Students: 15

Perquimans County

Alumni: 15
Enrolled Students: 3

Person County

Alumni: 59
Enrolled Students: 16

Pitt County

Alumni: 130
Enrolled Students: 36

Polk County

Alumni: 223
Enrolled Students: 55

Randolph County

Alumni: 350
Enrolled Students: 90

Richmond County

Alumni: 77
Enrolled Students: 16

Robeson County

Alumni: 76
Enrolled Students: 12

Rockingham County

Alumni: 225
Enrolled Students: 55

Rowan County

Alumni: 478
Enrolled Students: 123

Rutherford County

Alumni: 707
Enrolled Students: 180

Sampson County

Alumni: 39
Enrolled Students: 22

Scotland County

Alumni: 41
Enrolled Students: 3

Stanly County

Alumni: 204
Enrolled Students: 42

Stokes County

Alumni: 152
Enrolled Students: 39

Surry County

Alumni: 219
Enrolled Students: 69

Swain County

Alumni: 801
Enrolled Students: 127

Transylvania County

Alumni: 650
Enrolled Students: 83

Tyrrell County

Alumni: 1
Enrolled Students: 1

Union County

Alumni: 755
Enrolled Students: 283

Vance County

Alumni: 37
Enrolled Students: 11

Wake County

Alumni: 2,065
Enrolled Students: 479

Warren County

Alumni: 17
Enrolled Students: 3

Washington County

Alumni: 4
Enrolled Students: 1

Watauga County

Alumni: 138
Enrolled Students: 27

Wayne County

Alumni: 62
Enrolled Students: 23

Wilkes County

Alumni: 298
Enrolled Students: 53

Wilson County

Alumni: 72
Enrolled Students: 22

Yadkin County

Alumni: 156
Enrolled Students: 38

Yancey County

Alumni: 226
Enrolled Students: 23

Regional Economic Impact Report

Western Carolina University produced an annual economic impact of $511.3 million in its 10-county service region in Western North Carolina, according to a 2012-13 study released by UNC General Administration and conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). This added regional income is equivalent to creating 10,475 new jobs in the service region. What’s more is that every taxpayer dollar invested to support the operations of WCU delivers a return of $5.40 in benefits back to the state of North Carolina. Students themselves receive a return of $2.90 in increased earnings over their working lives for every $1 they spend attending school.

WCU’s 10-county service region for the purpose of this report included Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Transylvania counties.

2012-13 Regional Impact

Types of Economic Impact Added Regional Income Equivalent to Creating # New Jobs
WCU Operations Spending $166.7 million 2,945
WCU Research Spending $849.7 thousand 15
WCU Construction Spending $2.3 million 79
WCU Student Spending $39.9 million 895
WCU Visitor Spending $34.8 million 897
WCU Alumni Spending $266.7 million 5,643
TOTAL IMPACT $511.3 million 10,474

Statewide Return on Investment

$1 spent by a student on his/her WCU education = $2.90 gained in higher future income

$1 spent by taxpayers on WCU operations = $5.40 gained in added tax revenue and public sector savings benefits

$1 spent by society on WCU educations = $10.60 gained in state income and social savings value in N.C.

State Economic Impact Report

Western Carolina University created $901.8 million in additional income in the state of North Carolina during the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to a study released by UNC General Administration and conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). This economic impact is equivalent to creating 15,381 new jobs.

Total Economic Impact: $901.8 million

$143.3 million
Operations Spending Impact

(the equivalent of 2,427 jobs)

Payroll and non-pay expenditures to support the day-to-day operations of WCU amounted to $111 million and $82.7 million, respectively, and provided approximately $143.3 million in added state income, which is equivalent to creating 2,427 jobs.

$1 million
Research Spending Impact

(the equivalent of 17 jobs)

Research activities of WCU improve the state economy by employing people; making purchases for equipment, supplies and services; and facilitating new knowledge creation. The $493,000 spent on research generates $1 million, equivalent to 17 new jobs.

$1.8 million
Construction Spending Impact

(the equivalent of 74 jobs)

WCU built or renovated a number of its facilities during the analysis year, generating a short-term infusion of income and jobs in the state economy, amounting to $1.8 million in added state income, equivalent to 74 new jobs.

$7.6 million
Student Spending Impact

(the equivalent of 140 jobs)

Approximately 9 percent of graduate and undergraduate students attending WCU originated from outside the state, and their expenditures added approximately $7.6 million in state income, which is equivalent to creating 140 new jobs.

$17.3 million
Visitor Spending Impact

(the equivalent of 443 jobs)

Out-of-state visitors attracted to North Carolina by activities at WCU spent money at hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other regional businesses, adding approximately $17.3 million in state income, which is equivalent to creating 443 new jobs.

$730.6 million
Alumni Impact

(the equivalent of 12,281 new jobs)

The accumulated contribution of former WCU students currently employed in North Carolina amounted to $730.6 million in added state income, which is equivalent to creating 12,281 new jobs.

State Impact Chart

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