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 ‘21

Accepted to Duke, Binghamton

Aristotle said, "A friend to all is a friend to none." I disagree.
Stanford ‘22

Accepted to Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UPenn, Pomona, Williams, Amherst, Claremont (CMC), Northwestern, Vanderbilt, USC, JHU, UC Berkeley, UT Austin, UNC, Tulane, UMich, Georgetown

An aspiring lawyer who wants to make a difference in the world.
Stanford ‘20

Accepted to Stanford, Wheaton, Pomona

I love languages, exercising, and eating!
Brown ‘21

Accepted to Brown, Vanderbilt, Smith, Harvey Mudd, Washington, UC Berkeley, Duke, UCLA, Swarthmore

I'm a daydreamer passionate about societal transformation... who also happens to spend way too much time watching makeup tutorials.

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