10 Facts About University Endowment

June 04, 2014
  • There are 77 universities in the U.S. with endowments* exceeding $1 BILLION (data). 
  • Meanwhile there are only 10 universities in the rest of the world with endowments that high!
  • The top universities are Harvard ($32B), Yale ($20B), Stanford ($19B), Princeton ($18B), and MIT ($11B)
  • Harvard lost $11 billion in the 2008 recession, but don’t feel too bad for them…
  • Harvard’s increase in its endowment from 2012 to 2013 exceeded the GDP of 45 of the countries ranked by the United Nations (source).
  • Almost all of Stanford’s endowment comes from ownership of coal-mining companies; they plan to divest their interest to distance themselves from climate change issues (source).
  • Former Mayer of New York Michael Bloomberg donated $1.1 billion to his (and my) alma mater Johns Hopkins.
  • University endowments exceed the whopping $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, but don’t expect a reallocation any time… ever.
  • In fact tuitions keep rising. The Senate Finance Committee even considered requiring universities spend at least 5% of their endowment each year, just as other foundations must.
  • Several university endowments have come under fire for mismanagement and unsavory investing (examples)

University endowment is the total value of an institution’s investments; it’s generally created through alumni donations. 




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Duke ‘18


Accepted to UGA

I am a current junior at Duke studying biology, marine science, and markets and management studies
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Vanderbilt ‘18


Accepted to Baruch, Binghamton, Brooklyn College, Hunter, Macaulay Honors, Duke, JHU, Northwestern, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, SUNY Buffalo, Rice, Vanderbilt, NYU, Columbia

I grew up in New York City, Bronx and Brooklyn to be exact. I went to pretty big public schools and once you find a supportive yet motivating group of friends, teachers, advisors, and counselors to complement your family, life becomes a whole lot better!
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NYU ‘19


Accepted to NYU, BC, BU, GWU, Northeastern

I was born and raised in Korea, but I've studied in in U.S. boarding school for 7 years. I love people, building, and cars so I love every cities in the world.
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UPenn ‘20


Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions

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