Female Students Walking Outdoors On University Campus

Reimagining Higher Ed Institutions with Support from RWJF

The Social Finance Institute, Education


6Types of bold transformation for postsecondary institutions to reimagine their identity and financial longevity

Colleges and universities are experiencing stagnant enrollment, higher costs, and heightened competition from online programs and new kinds of training. Faced with this financial reality, higher education leaders are confronting the question of how to prepare for the future.

With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Social Finance conducted research on recent college closures and interviewed a wide range of experts to understand bold, new ideas for postsecondary institutions to adapt to an uncertain future. The resulting report, “Campus and Community: Transformative Partnerships Unlocking the Future of Higher Ed,” identifies six archetypes of bold postsecondary transformation—opportunities for institutions to reimagine the role of their campus assets as they consider their future identity, financial longevity, and role in their community.


  • Encourage postsecondary institutions to repurpose their campus assets and diversify their revenue streams to adapt to a changing economy and context.
  • Explore untraditional approaches, such as converting dorms to senior housing or establishing hubs for social services, that can help attract new investments and community partnerships.
  • Optimize the long-term viability of higher ed institutions by identifying new ways of generating value while preserving their legacy and connection to the surrounding community.

Read the report →

This report suggests a new approach for institutions bold enough to forge a less familiar path. Rich with real-world examples and well-timed guidance, it offers postsecondary institutions the kind of transformative strategies designed to help them thrive in an increasingly uncertain era.

Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.

Former President, Morehouse College

John Silvanus Wilson Jr

Partners and Supporters

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