Latest Facts and Figures about
Florida State University’s Economic Impact
on Tallahassee and Leon County
Last Updated: January 2018
- FSU’s campus is comprised of 391 buildings on 1,650 acres.1 The primary Leon County facilities include the downtown Tallahassee main campus; the Seminole Reservation — a recreational facility; the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering facility; and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Division of Research at FSU’s Southwest Campus.
- FSU is an institution of 41,867 students, including 34,110 Florida residents, supported by 2,409 persons employed by the university on faculty classifications in full-time and part-time positions as of the end of the 2015-16 academic year. 40,440 FSU students attend class on the Leon County campus.2 The university’s beginning annual operating budget was $1.35 billion for the 2016-17 academic year.3
- In total, 14,251 people were employed by Florida State University in March 2016. 6,248 people were directly employed as regular salaried, full-time employees by FSU in 2015-16, not including part-time salaried employees and OPS positions. An additional 135 persons were employed on a regular salary part-time classification, and 7,868 were employed under OPS classification.4
- The approved appropriated fiscal year 2016-17 operating budget for the City of Tallahassee totals $701.5 million; this is approximately $5 million less than the preceding fiscal year.5 FSU’s operating budget is nearly two times greater than the City of Tallahassee’s operating budget.6
- University operating revenues totaled $509.5 million for the 2015-16 FY, a 3.5 percent ($21,497,000) decrease from 2014-15 FY, while operating expenses totaled $1.1 billion for the 2015-16 FY, a 2.5 percent increase over 2014-15 FY. This increase in expenses from 2014-15 FY to 2015-16 FY is due to a 4.6 percent ($30.2 million) in compensation and employee benefits. Net non-operating revenues totaled $537.2 million, an increase of $56.5 million from the 2014-15 FY.
- As of March 10, 2016, FSU maintained a payroll of 14,251 employees7 and the average bi-weekly payroll was $26,331,489. Approximately 55.2 percent of these employees were OPS, and the total payroll for fiscal year 2016 (including gross salaries and employer paid benefits and taxes) was $684,618,707.8
- University faculty and staff contribute to the local economy through their purchasing power and taxes. Using a median rent of $909 per month for 6,428 full-time salaried employees, faculty and staff contributions were estimated to be $5,679,432 per month or $68,153,184 annually.9 These financial contributions do not account for part-time and OPS employees who may additionally contribute to the economy of Leon County.
- It is estimated that the average resident of Leon County, with a population of 286,27210, will pay $1,110 in sales taxes to the county (in 2016). The 2,409 regular faculty are estimated to contribute $2,673,990 in sales taxes to Leon County in 2016.11, 12 All 6,248 full-time salaried employees will contribute $6,935,280 in sales tax in 2016.
- FSU has employed six Nobel Laureates13, and currently employs two Pulitzer Prize winners. 14 Guggenheim Fellowship professors currently teach at FSU, while an additional 8 have taught previously.14 Every year since 2000, at least one FSU faculty member has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. Three FSU faculty members have been endowed as Fulbright Scholars for the 2017-18 school year, and five FSU faculty members were awarded in 2016-17.15
- There are 39,135 FSU alumni who live and own businesses in Leon County and continue to be a part of its economic health. This concentration of FSU alumni is higher than anywhere else in the state of Florida.16 There are a total of 326,824 living FSU alumni.17
- Total Research & Development (R&D) Expenditures were $268.3 million for FY2016-17.18
- The total amount of Sponsored Research Contract and Grants (C&G) awards received during FY 2016-17 were $190.1 million.19 $142.5 million of these contracts and grants were received from the federal government, $21.0 million were received from the state and local government, and $26.6 million were privately funded.20
- Since FY 2005-06, the FSU Research Foundation has allocated $250,000 annually under the Grant Assistance Program (GAP), a funding mechanism to help FSU researchers transfer their work from the laboratory into the commercial market.21
- FSU students spend substantially in the area. Students spend money on tuition, books, school supplies, housing, food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. These expenditures vary by the residency status and degree level of each student. Student spending by Florida State University students, both in funds spent in the area and in funds spent at the university, totaled $1.07 billion in fiscal year 2016.22
- Students at Florida State University pay $10,304 annually for room and board costs. As of 2014, FSU Students paid an average net total of $16,737 for attendance for an academic year, including tuition, required fees, books and supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses that students are expected to incur. This total cost of attendance includes all financial aid awarded. 5,819 students lived in a residence hall in the academic year 2016-17.23 Students who did not reside in a residence hall lived in sorority and fraternity houses, Southern Scholarship Foundation Houses, or off-campus.
- The 40,440 students at FSU’s Leon County campus are estimated to contribute $44,888,400 in sales taxes to Leon County in 2016. This accounts for about 14.1 percent of total predicted sales tax revenue to Leon County in 2016.24
- FSU currently has $519,320,392 dedicated to underway major projects. The university has also allocated $53,700,000 to minor projects. FSU has an additional $508,784,335 in construction spending planned through the year 2022.25 These major projects are funded through the FSU budget, bondholders, FCO grants, PECO allocations, departmental funding, ESCO budget allocations, and private donations.26
- FSU receives funding for capital expansion projects through the state of Florida’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) program. In fiscal year 2016-17, FSU received $22,325,022 in PECO appropriations. $12,000,000 from the program were for the EOAS building, $1,500,000 for the Black Student Union building, and $8,825,000 were for other maintenance, repairs, and renovations throughout campus.27
- FSU is the top user of electricity, followed closely by the State of Florida, which uses 4.26 percent of electricity in Tallahassee.28 In 2016, the university used more electricity than Florida A&M University (1.66 percent), the Leon County government (0.97 percent), Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (1.51 percent), Wal-Mart (0.80 percent), Publix Markets (0.80 percent), and the Federal Government (0.89 percent) combined.
Visitors to FSU
- In 2007, almost 630,000 people visited Leon County for reasons related to FSU—from prospective students and their families to the world’s most eminent scientists and artists. Altogether, they spent over $200 million on shopping, restaurants, entertainment, groceries, lodging, transportation, sports activities and events, arts and cultural activities, and other attractions.29 In 2016, the average visitor to Tallahassee spent $230 dollars during their trip. This generated a total economic impact of $841,300,000 in fiscal year 2016. On average, each visitor to Leon County generated $364 dollars to the local economy during their visit.30
- Football game weekends bring in a significant amount of tourism to Leon County. During football season, out-of-town attendees brought $48.8 million in direct spending during the six home games.31 Out-of-town attendees to home football games generated approximately 9 percent of total direct expenditures made in Leon County over the course of FY 2016.32
- FSU home games host an average of 77,000 attendees per game, including 16,000 students. 60 percent of non-student attendees to FSU football games travel over 3.5 hours to Tallahassee and contribute to the local economy through food and lodging.33 During the Fall 2016 season, FSU football attracted 219,600 out-of-town visitors to Leon County.
- Visiting teams competing against FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium book an average of 160 room nights in Tallahassee per game during football season.34 In 2016, FSU hosted six home football games in Tallahassee.35 At an average Tallahassee hotel stay cost of $119 per night on non-football weekends, FSU visiting teams contributed $19,040 in lodging in 2016, taking into account that hotel prices surge during football weekends. Additionally, the 2016 FSU-Miami game hosted at Doak Campbell Stadium brought ESPN production crews to Tallahassee, who booked 100 room nights for technical staff.36
- In addition to football, FSU varsity sports, such as baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, and golf also bring participants and visitors to Tallahassee who contribute to the local economy. Baseball games were hosted at home against 15 teams in its 2016-17 season, each of which booked an average of 75 room nights per weekend. FSU also hosted 13 home volleyball games in which participants booked an average of 50 room nights per weekend.37 In total, baseball and volleyball generate an additional $211,225 in direct impact through participant lodging in Tallahassee.
- Visitors also booked 74,427 nights and spent $10,125,000 on lodging. In total, 2016 FSU football home games resulted in $95.5 million of economic impact on Leon County.38 On average, out-of-town attendees to football games spent $465 per day and $1,209 per trip.39
- FSU hosts over 600 events each year between six fine arts venues.40 In 2016, the FSU Baroque Ensemble attracted 400 attendees, the FSU Museum of Fine Arts attracted 57,932 attendees, FSU Opera Outreach attracted 7,000 attendees, FSU Theater attracted 14,015 attendees, and FSU’s 85+ Opening Nights Performances attracted 20,463 attendees.41,42
Athletics and Camps
- The FSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has a proposed budget of $91.1 million for the 2016-17 year, a 4.8 percent increase from the approved budget of $86.9 million for FY 2015.43
- In 2016, the Athletics Department maintained a payroll of approximately 350 employees, adding part-time positions throughout the year that cause payroll to fluctuate between 350 and 400 employees.44 These employees work in addition to approximately 1,000 people who volunteer for different service organizations.45
- In 2016, 2,500 middle and high school students attended FSU Football Camp, 170 high school students attended Seminole Trails Cross Country camp, 400-500 middle and high schoolers attended Indoor Volleyball camp, 200-300 students attended Flying High Circus Camp, 500 girls attended Seminole Girls Basketball camp, 75 middle and high schoolers attended Seminole Golf camp, and 500 school students of all ages attended Soccer Summer Day Academy.46 All 20 varsity sports teams at FSU host camps every year, many of which require overnight stays in hotels or in the university dorms.
- There are over 20 academic and civics camps in session through the university every year. Every year, thousands of school students attend one of many FSU academic and civic camps.
- In 2016, 1,500 of these students attended Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee.47 Additionally, 48 attended Saturday-at-the-Sea, and 40 attended Young Scholars.48
- Every year, FSU Summer Workshop for Young Dancers recruits 45-55 middle and high school students from across the nation.49
- There are 14 different music camps offered every summer at FSU. In 2016, FSU Music Camps’ total enrollment was 1,370 students. Students gave 26 performances. 27 states other than Florida were represented, though the majority of students were from Florida.50
- 70 individuals are employed in 400 teaching, counseling, and administrative positions.51
FSU Foundation & Volunteer Work
- Total expenses of the FSU Foundation decreased 10.9 percent ($7.3 million) from 2015 to 2016.52
- For the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2016, the FSU Foundation allocated $166,701,406 in total gift commitments to the university, in addition to $54,374,758 in planned gift commitments. Total gifts included $89,169,966 in pledges, $1,246,935 gifts-in-kind, $53,999,758 in deferred gifts, and $22,284,747 in cash and securities. Total planned gifts included $50,955,578 in bequests, $1,500,000 in life insurance, $1,544,180 in charitable remainder trusts, and $375,000 in charitable lead annuity trusts. Total university endowments decreased by $20,746,169 from 2015 to 2016; FSU Foundation endowments decreased by $23,032,205.53
- These commitments were given by a total of 22,563 donors; 60 percent were alumni, 11 percent were current students, 10 percent were parents, 11 percent were friends of the university, and the remaining donors were a conglomerate of faculty, staff, corporations, and partner foundations.54
- Total gift commitments to the university supported FSU. $27,840.342 gifts were allocated towards student financial aid, $3,835,588 were allocated towards faculty, $4,392,739 were allocated towards public service, $1,551,824 were allocated towards property and infrastructure, $112,543,438 were allocated towards academic divisions, $1,311,115 were allocated towards research, $626,155 were allocated towards Strozier Library, $14,421,835 were allocated towards restricted purposes, and the remaining $178,370 were allocated towards unrestricted purposes, physical plants, and loans.55
- FSU was awarded $100 million in December 2015 from the Jim Moran Foundation to create the FSU Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. In 2016, Brian and Kathryn Ballard gifted real estate to the university to serve as the headquarters for the institute.56
- For the 2016 calendar year, 7,251 FSU students reported a total of 391,941 hours of volunteer work through the FSU ServScript program, and increase of 3.16 percent students and an increase of 6.15 percent hours from 2015.57 Assuming those students had been paid $8.05 per hour58 to perform their volunteer work, it saved local businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations an estimated $2.8 million in salaries.
- Faculty and staff volunteers at FSU also contribute their time, skills and funds to countless volunteer and community outreach efforts.
- In the fiscal year 2014-15, FSU generated $6.01 billion of direct revenue or expense, with $9.94 billion worth of industry output (revenue/sales), and 94,160 jobs.59
- Revenue generated by FSU created an additional $3.82 billion of labor income, $1.78 billion of property income, and $501.8 million in business taxes.60
- The estimated economic contributions of present value of lifetime earnings differential of FSU graduates remaining in Florida, created an industry output of $7.87 billion with an additional $2.7 billion in labor income, and 59,989 jobs.61
Compiled by the FSU Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis