Higher Education Initiative

Increasing educational opportunities and attainment for young adults and adults returning to college is a top priority for the City of Mesa. To achieve that goal, Mesa City Council is committed to expanding and attracting higher education and to developing quality projects that create high-wage jobs. 

Mesa has a number of assets that make it attractive to institutions of Higher Education. With the expansion of Metro Light Rail, the Mesa Arts Center, the remodeled Mesa Convention Center and more than $100 million in planned investments in the next five years, Downtown Mesa is an attractive destination for students, faculty, businesses and residents. Additionally, the East Valley population has grown exponentially over the last decade, creating a demand for increased educational opportunities.


Realizing Success

Mesa Educates UAs part of the Higher Education Initiative, the City completed a Higher Education Feasibility Study, Market Analysis, and Business Development Strategy focused on recruiting additional private post-secondary education providers to serve residents in Mesa and Greater Phoenix, and to attract out-of-state students to the region.
In 2011, the city released a higher education RFI to seek partnerships with private post-secondary education providers who were interested in expanding to Mesa. The City received interest from several institutions and in January 2012 announced the first partnership with Benedictine University. Following that success, the City announced partnerships with Albright College, Upper Iowa University and Wilkes University

Wilkes currently resides in the downtown Mesa Center for Higher Education, in the former City Court building at 245 W. Second St., while Benedictine occupies a separate facility, the former social-services building at 225 E. Main St.  Albright College and Upper Iowa University offer courses a few miles away in Mesa's vibrant Fiesta District.


Learn More About Mesa's Newest Higher Education Partners

Albright College  Benedictine University 
Upper Iowa University  Wilkes University

Additional Resources
Mesa Education and Schools
Mesa Educates U Scholarship
Mesa Counts on College
Education Industry Profile