Case Studies

See all of our higher education case studies below. Use the dropdown menus to filter the results. Have a case study you’d like to share? Submit it to us here.

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Local Anchor

Arizona State

Phoenix, AZ

Arizona State moved its schools of nursing and journalism and other programs into a once-blighted section of Phoenix in a project that includes student housing and private development. Part of the anchor institution model is to invest in a suite of different programs and initiatives meant to connect them with the community.


Bates College

Lewiston, ME

Boston-based Arctaris is building workforce housing and broadband infrastructure across Maine.(Source: Beeck Center) One of their projects is on Bates College’s campus to provide workforce housing for Bates’ employees.


California State University, Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA

The university is working with energy storage firm Stem, Inc. to implement the company’s software-driven energy storage service to drive down energy costs across the university. “CSU Dominguez Hills is another example of a higher education leader who seeks Stem’s automated energy savings while also contributing to more intelligent grid solutions,” said John Carrington, CEO of Stem. “California’s universities and colleges want energy storage to help them control their energy choices, play a strong role in their community, and help transition the state to even higher amounts of renewable energy.”


Case Western Reserve in Cleveland

Cleveland, OH

The Greater University Circle Initiative coordinates three large anchor institutions located in Cleveland’s University Circle area—about one-square mile of educational, cultural, and health institutions. Through this initiative, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Case Western Reserve University networked and deployed their resources in a powerful challenge to the persistent poverty and disinvestment in seven surrounding neighborhoods.


Clemson University

Clemson, SC

Clemson University has deployed a distributed energy storage system in an effort to reduce energy costs and to provide engineering students an opportunity to practice measuring and tracking energy savings. “Our distributed energy storage system is a natural extension of our core businesses in the buildings and battery markets and partnering with Clemson University allows us to help deliver the kind of smart and integrated energy management that will keep students and faculty comfortable while driving down utility costs,” said John Schaaf, vice president of distributed energy storage at Johnson Controls, in a prepared statement.


College of St. Joseph

Rutland, VT

St. Joseph’s accreditation was suspended in 2019 because of financial concerns. Now, the college’s space and land is being evaluated for potentially becoming an innovation center for the surrounding community.


Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (Multiple HBCUs)


Hope Enterprise Corporation, with a commitment from Goldman Sachs, partnered with seven cities and nine historically Black colleges and universities to launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC). These include Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Southern University and A&M College, Dillard University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College.


Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab, advances thought leadership, research, as well as new resources and tools to build support for communities leveraging Opportunity Zones.”


Duke University

Durham, NC

Hope Enterprise Corporation, with a commitment from Goldman Sachs, partnered with seven cities and nine historically Black colleges and universities to launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC). These include Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Southern University and A&M College, Dillard University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College.


Howard University

Washington, D.C.

Howard University teamed up with the Washington, D.C. government, Fannie Mae, and corporate partners to transform 45 abandoned, university-owned properties in a neglected neighborhood into more than 300 housing units and $65 million in commercial development. The Howard University LeDroit Park Initiative had three themes: 1) celebrate the history of the area; 2) redefine the community; and 3) enhance the quality of life and safety.


Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

IUPUI hosts a class called “Planning for a Profitable Business” in a borrowed corner of a public housing complex for formerly homeless veterans on Indianapolis’ Near West Side. The students are current and aspiring entrepreneurs, many of them from this hard-luck neighborhood, which IUPUI is working to improve.”


Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS

In 2006, Kansas State held listening sessions across the state aimed at identifying challenges facing rural Kansas communities. During these sessions, the need to support rural grocery stores rose to the top.


LaSalle University

Philadelphia, PA

In 2004, La Salle University’s Office of Community and Economic Development worked with leadership and community members to craft a realistic plan to improve the quality of life for residents around the campus. The University’s findings led them to The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a Philadelphia-based CDFI and leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, community facilities, supermarkets, and commercial real estate.


Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI

Marquette University is one of the 5 anchor institutions funding the Near West Side Partners nonprofit organization. The organization’s mission is to revitalize and sustain the Near West Side as a thriving business and residential corridor, through collaborative efforts to promote economic development, improved housing, unified neighborhood identity and branding, and greater safety for residents and businesses.


Ohio University

Athens, OH

Ohio University is very active in community development throughout Appalachian Ohio. They work with a network of regional entrepreneurship partners including a business incubator they run, an Angel Fund, a public VC Fund, several non-profit development orgs, and are very engaged in OZ work in Southern Ohio.


Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ

As Rowan began to increase its capital spending locally, the city of Glassboro saw a unique opportunity to leverage the Rowan investments by developing a plan for the transformation of the downtown area leading to the university. This plan ultimately became the $476 million, mixed-use development of Rowan Boulevard. In the city of Glassboro more than 30 percent of school-aged children qualified for the free lunch program and 20 percent of families earn under the poverty line.


Rutgers University – Newark

Newark, NJ

The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at RU-N is one of the first centers of its kind to integrate scholarly works with private capital, government, and non-profit sectors to develop citywide resources and bring renewed economic growth and vitality through urban entrepreneurship.



New Orleans, LA

The Warwick Hotel has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. The 154 room hotel, with its 1950s-era modernist architecture, opened in 1952. Tulane University signed a lease on Warwick and the structure will be completely renovated using opportunity zone money from the New Orleans Redevelopment Fund.



Birmingham, AL

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers assistance to full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff who buy or renovate a home in designated areas in the nearby neighborhoods of Five Points, Glen Iris and North and South Titusville. These five year conditional grants may be used for the purchase, down payment and/or closing costs for a new home or for renovations on an existing home in the incentive zone.


University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

To encourage home ownership and help support stabilization and revitalization in and around the South Campus, the University at Buffalo offers the UB H.O.M.E. (Home Ownership Made Easy) program to full-time and part-time faculty and staff. This program is being funded by the University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF) in partnership with West Side Neighborhood Housing Services (West Side NHS), Inc., a NeighborWorks America Chartered Member with a proven track record of housing and community revitalization.


University of Chicago (Housing)

Chicago, IL

“Since the University of Chicago launched its employer-assisted housing program in 2003, it has had 230 employees receive assistance to purchase homes in Woodlawn, North Kenwood, South Shore, Washington Park, and a few other nearby neighborhoods.”


University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

The university serves as an anchor in The Dayton Arcade project which restored a 9-building complex in downtown Dayton. The projectincludes affordable and market-rate units, University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs Center’s Arcade Innovation Hub, leasable office and retail space, and event space. The Arcade is part of a larger plan by the City of Dayton to bring residents, jobs, and visitors back to the downtown.


University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

“Hannon Armstrong joins ENGIE and Meridiam in the “Hawkeye Energy Collaborative,” which was awarded a $1 billion 50-year utility management concession contract in December 2019 and reached financial close on March 10, 2020. Hawkeye Energy Collaborative will support the University of Iowa’s energy, water, and sustainability goals for two campuses spanning 1,700 acres in Iowa City, Iowa. Under the agreement, ENGIE will operate, maintain, optimize, and improve the on-campus utility systems for the University.


University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

University Neighborhoods Development Corporation works to build and enrich campus and community environment by investing in surrounding neighborhoods. UNDC is a partnership between University of Memphis, University District Business Alliance, University District, Inc., Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, and Economic Development Growth Engine. Opportunity zones are one of their main initiatives. Their Work Local program is designed to improve the community through job access and blight reduction by providing job-seeking panhandlers with a day’s wages and a meal to clean-up sites, where they work to reduce urban blight.


University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Between 1996 and 2003, the University of Pennsylvania tripled the dollar amount of goods and services purchased from West Philadelphia businesses through their Economic Inclusion Initiative. They continue to focus on local purchasing and aim to award 20 percent of all construction contracts to minority or women-owned businesses.


University of Virginia’s College at Wise

Wise, VA

UVA-Wise is the lead partner for an Opportunity Appalachia program in the State. They are a leader in Southwest Virginia in community and economic development, with tremendous connections to community leaders across the region and to state government. They have a strong track record in downtown development and rural entrepreneurship efforts in +20 communities.


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