High MU student enrollment stimulates Columbia economy

Thursday, September 9, 2010 | 5:30 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — While some students may be complaining of longer lines, fewer parking spaces and crowded dining halls because of MU's record freshmen enrollment, the overall impact of this increase is actually stimulating Columbia's economy.

MU's student body spends about $1 million daily, Steve Wyatt, vice provost for economic development at the MU office of the provost, told members of Regional Economic Development Inc. on Wednesday. That means $5 million per work week. Multiply that by 50 or 52 weeks per year, Wyatt said, and you can figure that MU students pump about $255 million directly into the city's economy.

This number includes spending on food, clothes, gas and other miscellaneous items, but it doesn't count tuition.

Wyatt said it's also important that the community and MU create jobs and foster entrepreneurship so that students choose to stay in Columbia after they graduate.

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