Small colleges find new money in unconventional ventures

Dive Brief:

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education profiles innovative ways in which smaller colleges can build new revenue streams through mixed facility use and real estate development.
  • In addition to building out academic programs with online degree offerings, colleges are also considering leasing athletic space to professional sports teams for training camp and practice use, along with adding residential space on campus to encourage more student housing spending.
  • Commercial development, while a reach for some campuses based upon the boldness of administration and geography of the school, can also boost institutional income.

Dive Insight:

Nearly all options for schools to make extra money, short of leasing space for private use, are going to involve some form of institutional investment. To attract businesses to lease space, or to spend money with commercial or real estate enterprises, it requires a form of investment via buying land, personnel costs, startup funding, insurance and other costs which can lead to perpetual income and steady endowment returns.

Arizona State University and Hampton University are examples of university real estate investment in action, and can be the operating standard for a variety of schools which may be bracing for negative enrollment trends, or challenges with industrial change in the next few years.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed
Top image credit: Sean Hobson