COLUMBUS, Miss. — Mississippi University for Women is a significant economic contributor to the state of Mississippi as well as the Golden Triangle region, according to a recently released economic impact analysis.

The university’s economic value to the state totaled more than $215 million during fiscal year 2021-22. Expressed in terms of jobs, The W’s impact supported 3,433 jobs.

W President Nora Miller said, “The W contributes to our local and statewide economy by supporting jobs and with what we spend, but we also provide a highly educated workforce for employers. This study articulates the extent of the value we add to the economy.”

A breakdown of those expenditures included $27.6 million in operations spending, $2.4 million in student spending, $2.1 million in construction spending, $0.9 million in visitor spending, $6.8 million in volunteerism impact and $175.5 million in alumni impact.

Closer to home, The W added $97.9 million in income to the Golden Triangle plus Monroe and Noxubee’s economy.  To put into perspective, activities of The W and its students supported 1,567 jobs in the Golden Triangle (Monroe and Noxubee).

The study further showed that students see a high rate of return for their investment at The W:

  • In return for their investment, students will receive a cumulative present value of $186.7 million in increased earnings over their working lives. This translates to a return of $8.30 in higher future earnings for every $1 dollar students invest in their education.
  • FY 2021-22 students paid a present value of $15.1 million to cover the cost of tuition, fees, supplies and interest on student loans. They also forwent $7.3 million in money that they would have earned had they been working instead of attending college.
  • The average bachelor’s degree graduate from The W will see an increase in earnings of $17,400 year compared each year compared to someone with a high school diploma working in Mississippi

Other ways economic activity generated by the university touches the region and state economy:

  • W student volunteers generated an impact of $6.8 million in added income.
  • The net impact of The W’s former students currently employed in the state workforce amounted to $175.5 million in added income.
  • For every dollar of public money invested in The W, taxpayers will receive $1.90 in return, over the course of students’ working lives. The average annual rate of return for taxpayers is 3.2%
  • For every dollar invested in The W, Mississippians will receive $6.60 in return, for as long as the university’s FY 2021-22 students remain active in the state workforce.

The economic impact analysis was commissioned by Lightcast, a global leader recognized in labor market analytics. 

The full economic impact study is available at:

The W also released its 2022 Annual Report, which can be found at:


March 29, 2023

Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins

(662) 329-7124

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.