Community Benefits

Northeastern worked with the BRA, The Mayor’s Office, elected officials, the appointed Northeastern Task Force and other interested parties to explore ways to improve community benefits over the new master plan period. A set of guidelines were established to help Northeastern in developing these community benefits. These guidelines are the following:

  • The benefit serves the mutual interests of the community and University and can be recognized to be of benefit in the local community and beyond;
  • The benefit leads to sustainable partnerships in the community designed to promote the development of thriving communities along Northeastern’s institutional borders, especially in Roxbury;
  • The benefit builds on existing programmatic strengths and core competencies of the university, or builds upon other strengths that can be leveraged or harnessed;
  • The benefit strives for innovative ways to optimize resources that build a strong community and a strong university; and
  • The benefit helps develop a robust community engagement or service strategy that is supported by the University’s student and academic interests. Seven initiatives under discussion with city officials, the BRA and the CTF include:

Through the extensive consultation with the BRA, The Mayor’s Office, elected officials, the appointed Northeastern Task Force and other interested parties, Northeastern has committed to the following public benefits in association with the Northeastern IMP.

1. Northeastern/ Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Success

  • Beginning fall 2014, Northeastern will offer an additional 30 full-tuition, need-based scholarships to Boston Public Schools graduates, 20 in the specified zip codes and 10 citywide, in addition to continuation of 120 current full-tuition scholarships currently offered in Boston. Of the 120 existing scholarships, a minimum of 10 will be targeted to the specific zip codes.
  • Beginning fall 2013, working with BPS guidance counselors and other administrators, Northeastern will host semiannual College Readiness events on campus for BPS students and their families from the four neighborhoods, to provide critical information needed to prepare and apply for college and for financial aid.
  • Beginning fall 2014, BPS graduates from these neighborhoods applying to Foundation Year will receive priority in the admission process.
  • Beginning spring 2015, BPS graduates not admitted directly to the undergraduate program or to Foundation Year can arrange with an admissions counselor for a transfer contract, guaranteeing transfer admission provided the student successfully hits a determined set of academic benchmarks at any accredited institution.
  • Beginning fall 2014, Northeastern will negotiate transfer articulation agreements with Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College to provide another route for BPS graduates from these neighborhoods to enter Northeastern.
  • Beginning fall 2014, Northeastern will provide financial aid covering 100% of demonstrated need for all enrolling BPS students from these neighborhoods.
  • Estimated cost of financial aid is at least $3.5 million annually based on current enrollment of BPS graduates from these neighborhoods and average financial need.
  • Estimated cost of College Readiness Night is estimated to be $5,000 per event for staff time and space. Two events per year for ten years totals to $100,000.

Northeastern will convene an IMP Advisory Council to maintain regular and continuous dialogue and transparency with neighbors, address issues of concern as and when they arise, and explore new possibilities for community-university engagement. Estimated cost is approximately $2,000 annually. It is anticipated that the IMP Advisory Council will meet quarterly.

Northeastern will create a Neighborhood Center, as both a focal point for community engagement programs and services and a portal for community enquiries into university procurement, employment, admissions, and financial aid. Northeastern has committed to paying the cost of buildout up to $500,000, an estimated $50,000 per year in operating costs, and the salaries of any staff.

Northeastern will identify appropriate community-based businesses for on campus opportunities, with the goal of integrating them into new or existing university buildings as well as designating them as preferred vendors in the university purchasing system.

Northeastern will fund an update of the Housing Impact Study at or around the five-year term of the Northeastern IMP (timing to be discussed with the BRA and Task Force) in order to examine any changes in the impacts of Northeastern students in rental housing stock, particularly in light of the anticipated opening of over 1,000 new dormitory beds during the next five years (720 at GrandMarc and at least 600 as a result of the Northeastern IMP).

Northeastern will commit to rebuilding and maintaining Carter Playground, enhanced by the long-term inclusion of the University’s Camden parking lot, (approximately 2 acres appraised at $8.9 million), into an expanded park at a cost of up to $15 million initially. The city will continue to regulate permitting and scheduling of the facilities.

  • Northeastern will commit to increasing business with SLBEs to 20% of its discretionary spending and W/MBEs to 12% of discretionary spending within ten years.
  • Northeastern will commit 30% of hard construction costs for the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex to MBEs and 10% to WBEs.
  • For non-design project spending on ISEC, Northeastern will commit to the goal of hiring 51% Boston residents, not less than 35% minorities and 10% women, and further to establish a planning and oversight committee, including residents and elected officials, to help meet those goals.
  • Northeastern will direct 30% of major design/ construction spending in the Northeastern IMP to MBEs and 10% to WBEs.
  • Northeastern will direct 10% of non-Northeastern IMP design/ construction spending at Northeastern to W/MBEs within three years.
  • Northeastern will pursue the goal of increasing Northeastern employees in the contiguous zip codes by 3-5% within three years.
  • Northeastern will encourage Northeastern vendors to hire an additional 100 employees from the contiguous zip codes within three years.
  • Northeastern will provide 10 employment training and education programs to community members per year.
  • Northeastern will provide 10-15 three-month internship opportunities to community members per year.
  • Northeastern will continue to hold job and vendor fairs, including events targeted specifically to SLBEs and W/MBEs.
  • Northeastern will contribute $2.5 million to establish an entrepreneurship fund to build local business capacity, with the guidance of a suitable financial institution such as Next Street Financial.

Adjunct to the first IMP project on Columbus Avenue, Northeastern will create a landscaped crossing of the public transit rail line to better knit the Roxbury and Fenway communities and enhance access for persons with disabilities.

In addition, Northeastern will work with partners to identify, advance, and support affordable housing projects in the surrounding neighborhoods that can take advantage of Northeastern’s housing linkage obligations.