Faculty, Staff, Student and Vendor Spending

Faculty, staff, student, and visitor spending
In addition to the dollars spent directly by the University, its students, employees, and the visitors it draws contribute from their personal resources to the Santa Cruz economy


Economic Impact of University-Affiliated Populations

The Santa Cruz community is enriched in a myriad of ways through the contributions of University students, faculty, and staff. Students spend countless unpaid hours in local schools and at local non-profit organizations to complete required service learning components of their academic study. Faculty, staff, and students contributed more than 820,000 hours of community service to mostly local agencies—services worth well over $6.5 million during the 2004-05 academic year.

During 2004-05, nearly 60 percent of the University budget was spent on student, faculty, and staff salaries and benefits—including payments for health, life, dental, and vision insurance; income to local retirees; and unemployment insurance and worker's compensation. The campus also distributed an additional $43 million in student financial aid.

These University resources—combined with, for example, the additional flow of monies into Santa Cruz from each student's personal (or parental) resources or from visitors to the University—was responsible for nearly $690 million in economic activity within Santa Cruz County and created nearly 6,700 jobs for non-University Santa Cruz residents.

For example, University employees and their households living in the County spent more than $292 million locally for goods, services, and housing; students spent $145 million on off-campus living expenses, entertainment, dining, and retail goods; and spending by visitors in the local economy is estimated at $23 million. In doing so, these three groups generated an estimated $426 million, $225 million, and $38 million, respectively, in economic activity within Santa Cruz County.

Faculty and staff household spending

UCSC faculty and staff play a major role in the local economy. During the 2004-05 academic year, UC Santa Cruz employed more than 4,500 full-time equivalent faculty and staff, making it the largest employer in Santa Cruz County. According to University reports, approximately 85 percent of faculty and staff—i.e., members of 3,850 households—live in Santa Cruz County. UCSC faculty and staff households contribute to the local and regional economy through their purchases and spending in the area.

It is estimated that University employees and their households living in the County expended $292 million of their available household income locally for goods and services in 2004-05. That spending generated approximately $426 million in economic activity and created approximately 4,440 additional jobs within Santa Cruz County. Including the 3,850 University employees living in Santa Cruz County, an estimated 8,290 local jobs can be attributed to spending by University households.

Student spending

In addition to their volunteer activities, students also make an important financial contribution to the local economy. During the 2004-05 academic year, more than 14,500 students were enrolled at UCSC with approximately half living off-campus. In addition, 3,300 students enrolled in campus summer sessions during 2004.

Using published student budgets prepared by the UCSC Financial Aid Office, as well as the results of a June 2005 survey of UCSC students, it is estimated that during 2004-05 students spent $145 million on off-campus living expenses, entertainment, dining, and retail goods. The University survey also shows that most of such spending was new income to the local economy. Student spending in the local economy contributed an estimated $225 million in economic activity and generated an additional 1,730 jobs in Santa Cruz County.

Visitor spending

Visitors to the campus are additional contributors to the local economy and support tourism—one of the region's primary industry sectors. UCSC and its employees and students attract approximately 180,000 visitors to the County every year. These visitors also spend money on lodging (accounting for an estimated 52,000 room-nights at hotels in Santa Cruz), shopping, and dining in the area.

The University attracts visitors to faculty, staff, and students, visitors to the University Inn and Conference Center, prospective students and their families, and participants in the summer orientation program hosted by the University.

Total spending by visitors in the local economy is estimated at $23 million in 2004-05. This spending generated $38 million in economic activity and an additional 525 Santa Cruz County jobs in retail trade, entertainment, lodging, and dining.