New Data Shows Roanoke, Virginia Region Has More Undergraduate College Students Per Capita Than Notable College Hotbeds

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The Roanoke, Virginia region has more undergraduate college students per capita than notable college hotbeds, including North Carolina's Research Triangle, Boston-Cambridge, Austin and San Francisco Bay, according to new data released by the Roanoke Regional Partnership.

The Roanoke region is surrounded by some of Virginia's, and the nation's, most recognized colleges and universities

The Roanoke, Virginia region has more undergraduate college students per capita than notable college hotbeds, including North Carolina's Research Triangle, Boston-Cambridge, Austin and San Francisco Bay, according to new data released by the Roanoke Regional Partnership.

Within an hour's drive of the Roanoke, Virginia region are nearly 90,000 undergraduate students at 19 institutions of higher learning, from renowned liberal arts colleges to Virginia Tech, the state's largest research university. Two additional schools are graduate-only institutions.

With a total population an hour in any direction from downtown Roanoke of more than 833,000, that means a per-capital undergraduate college student ratio of 0.108, research conducted by the Partnership shows.

By comparison, the San Francisco Bay comes in at 0.060, with the Research Triangle at 0.057 and Boston-Cambridge and Austin tied at 0.049 (see box below).

"The Roanoke region is surrounded by some of Virginia's, and the nation's, most recognized colleges and universities," says Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, which tracks data about business and quality-of-life issues.

"While many people from the region choose the local colleges and universities for higher education, these institutions also attract diverse student populations from around the United States and the world who enjoy outdoor recreation like the Appalachian Trail and Smith Mountain Lake as well as a vibrant arts scene."

Region                            2009 Population Estimate     Number of Undergrads    Number Per Capita
Greater Roanoke Region                         833,387    89,873    0.108
San Francisco-Oakland                         4,302,282    259,045    0.060
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill    1,589,073    90,278    0.057
Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem    1,185,589    66,240    0.056
Austin                                             1,659,847    82,345    0.049
Boston-Cambridge                         4,495,827    223,986    0.049
Richmond                                             1,230,605    57,425    0.047

In addition to Virginia Tech, the greater region's colleges include:

Central Virginia Community College
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine*
Ferrum College
Hollins University
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Liberty University
Lynchburg College
National College
New River Community College
Patrick Henry Community College
Radford University
Randolph College
Roanoke College
Skyline College
Southern Virginia University
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine*
Virginia Western Community College
Washington & Lee University

*Graduate-only institutions

ABOUT THE ROANOKE REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP

The Roanoke Regional Partnership was founded in 1983 as a regional economic development organization for the greater Roanoke area that includes Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke counties plus the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the town of Vinton. Its program of work includes image building, asset development, and business recruitment and has been involved in business locations and expansions that have created more than 13,600 jobs and $1.3 billion in investment in real estate and equipment. The Partnership has been conducting the Roanoke MSA cost of living survey since 1992. To learn more, please visit http://www.Roanoke.org.

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