The 10 Richest Colleges in America

Posted on November 4th, 2014

While colleges have raised their costs rapidly over the past two decades, only around 20% to 40% of funding for public and private schools comes from tuition and fees, according to Open Source radio.

Colleges also receive money from states, government grants and contracts, research, hospital revenue, and other sources. And colleges with big sports programs can bring in millions of dollars each year form these programs.

But all of this pales in comparison to money raised from college endowments, according to Personal Finance CheatSheet.

Donations from alumni can make up a huge chunk of colleges’ wealth. Harvard, for example, has an endowment of $32.3 billion and reportedly received a $350 million donation from a single investor.

Large college endowments a sign of graduate satisfaction, success

Why does the wealth of a college matter?

It can be good indicator of how generous they may be with financial aid. Many wealthy colleges pledge to meet 100% of a student’s financial need–a sign that their large endowment funds are being put toward scholarships, grants and other financial aid programs to give students access to college.

A college that has a large endowment is also a good indication of the students’ level of satisfaction with the college and their post-graduate success. College graduates are more likely to donate if they had a positive college experience and have enough disposable income to give back to the school.

You’d probably guess that Ivy League colleges top the list of richest colleges, but a few schools like the University of Texas and University of Michigan, public colleges with huge alumni bases and rapid sports fans, may surprise you.

Check out the full list of America’s richest colleges below.

  1. Harvard University $32.3 billion
  2. Yale University $20.8 billion
  3. University of Texas System $20.4 billion
  4. Stanford University $18.7 billion
  5. Princeton University $18.2 billion
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology $11 billion
  7. Texas A&M University System and Foundations $8.7 billion
  8. University of Michigan $8.4 billion
  9. Columbia University $8.2 billion
  10. Northwestern University $7.9 billion

Category: Choosing a College

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