Cover for the 2017 Regional Impact Study
Since the 2004 impact study the university's annual impact has grown by more than $300 million.


CMU: Making a difference

There is $447.5 million flowing into western Colorado because Colorado Mesa University is here. That’s what CMU’s biennial regional impact study shows.

The impact report, released Jan. 24, includes spending by the university itself; its employees, students and visitors; and capital expenditures (dollars spent on construction, repairs and renovations).

Here are the numbers:

  • University - $33.9 million
  • Employees - $27.2 million
  • Students - $113.4 million
  • Visitors - $37.3 million
  • Capital - $36.8 million

That totals $248.6 million in direct spending. Using a conservative multiplier of 1.8 to account for circulation of those dollars throughout the region, that mean an indirect impact of $447.5 million on the region’s economy.

Some spending in each category occurs outside the region, so “leakage” spending is calculated and subtracted. The 2017 report is based on FY 2015-16 spending.

CMU has done an impact study every other year starting in 2004. Since that time, the university’s annual impact has grown by more than $300 million.

A less quantifiable but no less important contribution are CMU’s many community partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organization and government entities such as school districts, cities and counties.

Those partnerships help promote economic development, build a 21st century workforce, provide expertise on regional issues and support partners through shared facilities.

Examples include:

  • Rural Jump-Start program
  • Maverick Innovation Center
  • Engineering programs
  • Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission
  • The Redifer Institute including the Ruth Powell Hutchins Water Center, the Natural Resource Center, the Unconventional Energy Center and the Social Research Center

More important than its contribution to the region’s economy and the enhancements made possible through partnerships are the students who leave CMU well educated and better prepared to be productive, engaged citizens. That impact continues to grow with CMU awarding more degrees and certificates each year. In 2003-04, 655 were awarded. In 2015-16, that number almost tripled with 1,842 degrees and certificates awarded.

Whether it is dollars spent, valuable collaborations or educating more students, CMU continues to play a growing role in western Colorado.

To read the full report, go to


Media Contact

David Ludlam, Director of Public Relations

970.248.1868 (o)

970.433.2178 (c)