Many East Carolina University graduates choose not to live in Eastern North Carolina and take their economic impact outside of the East.

ECU reported out of 3,800 graduates in the Class of 2014, about 30 percent stayed in Pitt, Craven, Lenoir, Beaufort, Greene and Onslow Counties.

The thousands of current alumni living in the counties surrounding ECU contribute $408 million in added income to the local economy.

ECU junior Kyle Smith believed there’s nothing wrong with the East; rather, students are going where the opportunities are in their specific majors.

“Nursing majors, doctors, dentists, they all have the opportunity to go to that wonderful Vidant Medical [Center],” Smith said. “People who major in other areas, there aren’t a ton of opportunities for them to really get their foot in the door.”

Smith referred to industries like finance and certain management operations careers.

ECU is working to keep more graduates in the East through initiatives like the “Millennial Campus.”