NEW ORLEANS - A new report reveals how much of an economic impact the University of New Orleans has on the metro area. It's the first time, since Katrina, the school has conducted a study like this.

President John Nicklow said UNO is considered to be one of the largest public institutions in the area.

"We have a tremendous opportunity here for students," Nicklow said. "We bring value to the table.”

How much value? It's something Nicklow has wondered.

“I’ve spent a lot of time telling people that UNO matters to this state and to the community, and I wanted to know how much it matters," he said.

A new report has the answer. It shows the university generates about $470.5 million for the metro area.

“To put that figure into context, the University of New Orleans received $28 million from the State in the current fiscal year," Nicklow said. "That means for every dollar the State gives, UNO generates another $17.”

John Williams, the Dean of the College of Business Administration, helped with the study.

"That’s an incredible amount that actually shocked us a little bit," Williams said.

Williams said he was pleased with the study for many reasons, especially because the results also show the majority of UNO graduates stay in New Orleans.

"So, in the last five years, when we looked at them, 82% of those graduates are right here in the New Orleans area," Williams said. "Precisely what we want."

State legislators are talking possible budget cuts which could hurt funding from public universities. However, UNO’s President said this report shows this school’s true worth.

“I don’t know many places where you can get a $17 to $1 return," Nicklow said. "To further reduce what the State provides UNO and the higher education diminishes that.”

Despite what the future holds, UNO officials said they are still celebrating.

"This is a great way to show what we're really doing as a University," Williams said.