Investment Platform Overview

AJ founded the Graduate Hotels® platform after research showed that top-tier college towns lacked interesting hotel products but possessed unique and strong underlying demographic trends and attractive fundamentals of diverse and stable demand and high barriers to new supply.

Each university acts as an anchor institution in the community and provides Graduate Hotel investments with a stable demand base that limits volatility throughout cycles. University-anchored cities benefit from an educated workforce and are a natural incubator for innovation and job creation. This dynamic has led to lower unemployment, a growing population, increased technology presence, and higher discretionary income. Graduate Hotels is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these advantages.

Each Graduate hotel is custom designed and programmed to celebrate the distinct history, traditions and charms of the university and its surrounding community. The platform now consists of over 35 locations, with 34 operating assets under the Graduate Hotels® affiliation and an additional three under various stages of development.

In 2024, AJ sold the Graduate Hotels brand to Hilton Worldwide. AJ retains ownership of the real estate and oversight of the management for all existing 35+ real estate assets, including the soon-to-open Graduate Princeton and Graduate Auburn. With the sale, all Graduate properties are strategically positioned to benefit from Hilton's global distribution and loyalty networks.

Key Figures

Platform Launch Date
Number of Properties
Number of Keys
U.S. and U.K.

Primary Attributes

Strong Market Fundamentals

AJ has observed consistently stronger fundamentals in university-anchored markets compared to the more traditional top 25 hotel investment markets, including higher compounded growth in hotel operating performance and lower volatility over multiple cycles.

Higher-Education Driven Stability

University markets boast low unemployment and robust median income levels, and demand for higher education remains significant given the correlation between education and earning potential.

Fragmented Landscape

We believe there is a highly fragmented ownership base and a general lack of sophisticated management across many of the best located hotels within these communities.

Global Distribution Network

AJ's Graduate Hotels real estate investments now benefit from Hilton's global distribution network. AJ believes pairing Graduate Hotels' existing brand loyalty with Hilton's powerful commercial booking engine will drive impactful growth for the 35+ properties.

Graduate Hotels in the News