Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

Universities with the largest endowments (25 items)

By , Deseret News

May 4, 2014

That college is becoming increasingly unaffordable is well documented, but how much these unaffordable colleges receive each year in financial endowments is less well-known.

Using data from the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute, we've listed the 25 colleges in America with the highest endowments and ranked them from lowest to highest. Did your alma mater make the cut?

1 of 25. Johns Hopkins University

2013 endowment funds: $2,987,298,000

Type of school: Private

No. of students: 20,871

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Notable alumni include former president Woodrow Wilson, who received his PhD in 1886, and Nobel Prize winning scientists Riccardo Giacconi and Adam Riess.

2 of 25. Ohio State University

2013 endowment funds: $3,149,169,000

Type of school: Public

No. of students: 57,466

Founded in 1870, Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio.

3 of 25. Vanderbilt University

2013 endowment funds: $3,673,434,000

Type of school: Private

No. of students: 12,745

Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

4 of 25. Dartmouth College

2013 endowment funds: $3,733,596,000

Type of school: Private

No. of students: 6,144

Founded in 1769, Dartmouth College is distinguishable as one of the nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. It is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. Notable alumni include Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and former chief justice of the Supreme Court Salmon P. Chase.

5 of 25. University of Southern California

2013 endowment funds: $3,868,355,000

Type of school: Private

No. of students: 39,958

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880. It is located in Los Angeles, California. Notable alumni include astronaut Neil Armstrong and filmmaker George Lucas.
1. liahona
Westbank, BC,
May 5, 2014

So what happens to all this money?

2. Former Sports Director
Ogden, UT,
May 5, 2014

It is invested and the earnings are used to fund the university.

3. Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT,
May 5, 2014

It's amazing that tuition rates are still high at these schools with huge endowments, it would seem they could defer more of those costs.

4. morpunkt
Glendora, CA,
May 5, 2014

These universities are definitely corporations, in and of themselves.

5. OthersShoes
May 5, 2014

As someone who used to serve as a financial delegate to the board of trustees at my university, it is common practice for universities to use their endowments to drive-down tuition. Tuition (most often) does not contribute to the endowment of a school, rather the giving, research funds, patent and licensing funds, and athletic funds do.

Most people don't understand that the cost per pupil at universities is higher than tuition. State schools use a combination of their endowment and tax-base funding, whereas private univ.'s use the interest off of the endowment to drive down cost.

Other parts of interest and giving received are partitioned to campus-wide development. This is often the case when a building, endowed professorship, or program/degree has a person's name behind it. They donate the money under the stipulation that the entity they are funding is named after them.

This is why Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford are ranked as high as they are: their endowments are a reflection of the quality and income of their graduates/professors. I'm not saying it accurately depicts quality.

Look at the endowment-to-pupil ratio. While Texas' endowment is huge, its for 130,000+ students. Harvard's $30bil is spread over just 14,000 students.