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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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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Opportunity Zone equity was paired with Historic Tax Credits to support the transformation of an underutilized 125-year-old building on Lehigh University’s campus into 30 apartments and new retail space in South Bethlehem. Reinventing this space is part of Lehigh’s strategy to demonstrate their commitment to community, revitalize South Bethlehem, and continue campus expansion as the university grows.


Missouri State University

Springfield, MO

Using a $1.25M grant from the Economic Development Administration and matching local OZ funds, the University plans to expand its efactory business incubator in Springfield, MO. According to Missouri State, this investment is expected to create “360 jobs and spur $27 million in private investment.”


Ohio State

Columbus, OH

Working through Campus Partners, a nonprofit community development corporation, Ohio State invested $28 million of its endowment funds into the “South Campus Gateway” complex.


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.


Stillman College

Tuscaloosa, AL

As soon as it became clear that Stillman would be located in a Opportunity Zone, the school’s president seized the opportunity to enlist the support of potential private equity partners, the City of Tuscaloosa, and consultants to develop investment projects for the school’s vacant and unused property holdings.


The Russell Center

Atlanta, GA

The Herman J. Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a 50,000 SF campus in one of Atlanta’s fast growing downtown neighborhoods that is focused on black 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.


University of Chicago (Child Care)

Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago and IFF, a CDFI with a history of lending to the child care sector, have worked together on multiple initiatives to create more childcare and education opportunities for Chicago’s communities.


University of Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

The University of Indianapolis joined city and community leaders to celebrate construction of the University Lofts apartments, an off-campus student housing development in partnership with Indianapolis-headquartered Strategic Capital Partners.


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 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.


Western Colorado University

Gunnison, CO

Western Colorado University’s ICELab is a “community organization with a keen interest in mountain town sustainability and economic diversity in rural Western Colorado.” The lab provides startups and growing businesses affordable coworking/office space as well as an Incubator Program.


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