College Coffers Surging

A record 76 schools claim $1B or more in assets
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 7:05 PM CST
Aerial view of the Sherman Fairchild Physical Science Center and Wheeler Hall on Dartmouth College campus.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – Riding high on investment growth, a record number of higher-education institutions claimed endowment assets of more than $1 billion last year, USA Today reports. With the average endowment fetching a 17.2% rate of return, it isn’t hard to see why a study by a college business non-profit found the number of schools in the billion-plus club grew to 76.

But while the pie is growing, it is uneven: The top 10 richest colleges account for 35% of the national endowment total. Harvard’s $6 billion in investment gains is bigger than the entire endowments of 98% of the schools in the study. It and other top schools plan to eliminate student loans, but critics say they could afford more financial aid.