Community Impact 2018

Northeastern is using its knowledge, talent, and resources to partner with and invest in our local Boston communities.

Investing in Boston

Northeastern plays an active, engaged role in the city.

$25M annually

direct investments made by Northeastern in the neighborhoods surrounding its Boston campus

As a recognized leader in experiential learning and use–inspired research, Northeastern is a university in tune with the world. Yet even as the university extends its global impact and reach, Northeastern remains committed to using its knowledge, talent, and resources to play an active, engaged role in Boston.

Northeastern makes countless direct investments for Boston and its residents. These investments have helped improve the lives of the members of our community, strengthening the fabric of the neighborhoods in meaningful ways.

Despite the university’s tax–exempt status, Northeastern makes over $25 million annually in direct investments in the neighborhoods surrounding its Boston campus.

Here are just a few of the ways those investments have made a difference over the years.



Transforming the Columbus
Avenue Corridor

Since 2006, Northeastern University has invested more than $500 million to invigorate and transform the Columbus Avenue Corridor. This includes $102 million to completely renovate and maintain the William E. Carter Playground for the next 30 years.

Northeastern donated its Camden parking lot, so the footprint of the park was increased by 25 percent. Updated features in the park include two football and soccer fields that can also be used for baseball, softball, lacrosse, and other sports. The park also has five tennis courts, open recreational space, and a "tot lot" area with equipment for children with disabilities.

It also includes construction of the $225 million Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex and pedestrian skybridge that provides an important new link between the neighborhoods of Roxbury and the Fenway. An additional $38 million has been invested to expand and refurbish Ruggles Station. After purchasing and upgrading the Renaissance Park office building and garage, the university gave a $175 million vote of confidence to the corridor with the opening of the International Village complex in 2009.

Northeastern invests $13.5 million in full–tuition scholarships for Boston Public Schools students and other Boston–area residents. Northeastern currently provides:

  • 150 full–tuition need–based scholarships to Boston Public Schools graduates, including 30 new scholarships since 2014 for students who live in neighborhoods surrounding our Boston campus
  • Additional scholarships awarded to BPS valedictorians and graduates in the top 10 percent of their class
  • Multiple college–readiness events on campus for BPS students
  • 10 scholarships per year to residents of Boston Housing Authority units
  • Tuition scholarships to city employees through the Moakley program
Northeastern graduates a higher percentage of BPS students than any other college or university.








Northeastern's Center for Community Service works in partnership with nearly 400 nonprofits, schools, and other organizations to meet local community needs. Last year, Northeastern students contributed an estimated $8 million over 280,000 service hours through an array of university–led civic engagement, service learning, and community service programs.

Opened in 2015, Northeastern Crossing is a one–stop community center that works to connect the local community with employment and procurement opportunities at Northeastern. This outreach includes community vendor job fairs, business networking, mentoring, and other special programs. Northeastern Crossing’s mission is to:

  • Elevate the voices and visibility of Boston's neighborhoods, particularly those from Roxbury, Mission Hill, Fenway, and the South End
  • Provide greater access to resources at Northeastern University for Boston residents
  • Be a platform where Boston residents and the Northeastern University community can convene, interact, and learn from each other




To support the development and success of community small businesses, Northeastern created Impact Lending, a $2.5 million revolving small–business loan fund to provide affordable financing and procurement opportunities to women– and minority–owned local businesses. Already, Impact Lending has provided capital to 29 Boston–area businesses, 79 percent of which are minority–owned, and 66 percent of which are women–owned. When organizations spend their money with locally owned firms, those firms in turn rely on, and generate, local supply chains, creating an economic multiplier effect. Last year, Northeastern's top suppliers spent almost $65 million with underrepresented businesses in Boston. Of that total, $37.8 million went to women– and minority–owned businesses, and $27 million was spent with local and small businesses.





with underrepresented businesses in Boston


went to women– and minority–owned businesses


was spent with local and small businesses

Preparing students for the demands of college in a supportive environment is the driving force behind Northeastern's $2.8 million investment in two programs, Foundation Year and the Youth Development Initiative Program.

Foundation Year–which introduces BPS students to the academic rigors of collegelife and is backed by a network of tutors and advisors–has an 85 percent completion rate. YDIP supports the social, emotional, and academic needs of more than 20 Boston high school students from neighborhoods surrounding the university.


completion rate for YDIP, which provides tutoring and advising to BPS students to prepare them for college




Municipal Support

Outside of the classroom, Northeastern helps the community in myriad other endeavors. Northeastern co–op students staff the Mayor's 311 customer service hotline to field city residents' non–emergency inquiries. The university's Facilities staff also manages landscape improvement projects at schools and parks around the city, as well as snow clearing and removal services to ensure public safety. Our academy–trained police force routinely supports Boston police with incident response in and around campus.



$1M annually

The School of Law spends more than $1 million annually on legal aid clinics to assist local community members on issues of social justice, domestic violence, and public health, among other issues. The university also houses the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, a college preparatory high school for Boston students exploring careers in health and health–related professions. In addition, Northeastern frequently opens its doors to the community by making university space available by hosting:

  • health fairs
  • park cleanups
  • food and coat drives
  • BPS athletics events



In addition to community engagement programs and services, Northeastern's economic might is felt in the size of our faculty and staff and their purchasing power.

Our 6,000 Northeastern employees bring millions of dollars into the Boston economy through their daily purchasing power. This includes 469 city residents who pay more than $559,000 annually in municipal taxes.

An Enduring Partnership

Since its founding in the Boston YMCA more than a century ago, Northeastern's commitment to civic engagement and community service has been an integral part of the university's ethos.

Taken together, the university's investments in local students, neighborhoods, businesses, and community organizations contribute significantly to the vitality of Boston’s economy–many times in excess of its presumed demand on city services.

Northeastern takes great pride in the vital role the university plays as a trusted local community partner.