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Strategy and Impact

Northwestern aspires to be a national model of how a major research university can engage positively with the city in which it resides. We are dedicated to establishing strong, transparent, and strategic partnerships that amplify our collective impact, driven by collaborative initiatives that benefit both the university and the Evanston community. Our focus is directed through three updated pillars:

Education: We are committed to enhancing educational opportunities at every level, from early childhood through higher education and into adult learning. Our goal is to nurture a culture of lifelong learning and academic excellence that prepares individuals for personal and professional success. Through initiatives that bridge educational gaps, introduce innovative learning methods, and provide access to vital resources and mentorship, we aim to empower students, faculty, and community members to achieve their full potential. This approach fosters an informed, skilled, and versatile community, equipped to thrive in the constantly evolving global landscape.

Economic and Community Development: We are committed to strengthening the local economy and enhancing community life through strategic partnerships and initiatives. Our aim is to act as a catalyst for economic growth by supporting local businesses, encouraging entrepreneurship, and advancing workforce development initiatives. Additionally, we focus on improving the quality of community life through infrastructure enhancements, cultural events, and the development of public spaces. Ultimately, our goal is to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the surrounding community that promotes economic stability and a vibrant community where everyone can prosper.

Health and Well-being: We are dedicated to promoting physical and mental health, and integrating sustainability practices that improve environmental health. Our objectives include addressing health disparities and improving healthcare accessibility and outcomes. This effort encompasses initiatives that focus on mental health awareness, disease prevention, and healthy living campaigns. Additionally, we are committed to sustainability efforts that protect and improve environmental health, such as reducing waste, promoting renewable energy, and enhancing green spaces. Ultimately, our purpose is to ensure a healthy living environment that supports the well-being of all community members, fostering a setting where people can live healthier, longer, and more fulfilling lives.

Engagement & Impact

Each year, Northwestern University makes significant financial contributions that catalyze growth and development within our community. It is important to note that the figures presented on this page are annual estimates and may fluctuate from year to year. These numbers are calculated conservatively and do not encompass the full extent of the University's spending in various areas. As such, the actual impact is likely to be greater, reflecting our ongoing commitment to supporting and enhancing the community in which we live, work, learn, and play.

in economic impact to the City of Evanston
for local non-profit and faith-based organizations
university spending across local Evanston businesses
taxes, fees, and direct payments to the City of Evanston

University Sponsored Research

in research funding

At Northwestern University, our sponsored research not only advances academic knowledge but also significantly benefits the Evanston economy. In the most recent fiscal year, the University secured over $1B in sponsored-research funding, contributing an estimated $796.6 million to the U.S. economy between 2009 and 2017. These figures, while conservative, reflect our commitment to local economic enhancement through job creation, support for small businesses, and investments in minority- and women-owned vendors. Our research initiatives extend beyond academia, fostering substantial economic activity and community development in Evanston and beyond.

Educational Empowerment

dance marathon

Over the last 49 years, Dance Marathon — one of the largest student-run philanthropic efforts in the country — has raised more than $25 million that has directly benefited nearly 40+ different charities in Evanston and across the Chicago area.

raised in 49 years by Northwestern's Dance Marathon for nearly 40+ charities in Evanston and Chicago
ETHS students served by 101 programs through the Evanston Township high school
Middle school students participate in research-based STEM learning programs created by Northwestern, the McGraw YMCA and Youth Opportunity United
invested to support Chicago Public School students as part of the Northwestern Academy program
of students affiliated with the program identify as first generation to go to college in their families

Community Benefits Agreement

By investing in financial aid, we not only support individual students but also contribute to a more equitable and just society.

investment over 15 years in Evanston services and programs
annually for ten years strengthens Evanston through the Good Neighbor Fund
projected to be generated annually by concerts at Ryan Field, beginning in 2027

Learn More About the $100 Million Agreement

Transformative Impact of Financial Aid

Each year, Northwestern dedicates millions of dollars to scholarships and grants, ensuring that financial circumstances do not limit educational aspirations

Empowering Futures: Northwestern's Financial Aid Impact

At Northwestern University, we believe that financial barriers should never hinder academic and personal growth. Our substantial financial aid programs are a testament to our commitment to making higher education accessible and achievable for all, particularly for those from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. By investing in financial aid, we are not only supporting individual students but also contributing to a more equitable and just society.

5-year total for financial aid provided to undergraduate students
2022$251.6 M
2021$228.0 M
2020$233.5 M
2019$210.3 M
2018$194.1 M