List of colleges and universities in the United States by endowment
Many institutions of higher education in the United States maintain financial endowments, sums of money that are invested in stocks, yielding returns that fund a portion of an institution's operational expenses and help ensure that it survives in perpetuity.
U.S. colleges and universities maintain some of the largest endowments in the world, and make up the strong majority of educational institutions with endowments greater than $1 billion.
In 2005, the endowment table below totaled $219.37 billion. By 2015, the table totaled $394.96 billion, an increase of 80%. As of 2018[update], the total further increased to $479.23 billion.
Enhancements and levies
The tabulated data below are from NACUBO. Some universities benefit from endowments that are not under their direct control but which are nonetheless dedicated to the welfare of one or several institutions. Examples include The Duke Endowment, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.
In 2017, a federal endowment tax was enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in the form of an excise tax of 1.4% on institutions that have at least 500 tuition-paying students and net assets of at least $500,000 per student. The $500,000 is not adjusted for inflation, so the threshold is effectively lowered over time.
The endowment tax provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been criticized as funding tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of education. Critics note that the tax could threaten financial aid for low-income students, stifle social mobility, and obstruct life-saving research. There continue to be vigorous efforts that advocate the repeal of the tax. Repeal legislation has been introduced in Congress with bipartisan cosponsorship.
Endowments currently greater than $1 billion
Endowments per student greater than $1 million
|Rank||Institution||Endowment per capita (2020)|
|2||Soka University of America||$2,785,613|
|6||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||$1,431,191|
|9||California Institute of Technology||$1,296,611|
- "National Association of College and University Business Officers". NACUBO. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- Ken Redd (May 26, 2020). "Historic Endowment Study Data". National Association of College and University Business Officers.
- "Wealthy colleges face uncertainty as they seek ways to avoid new endowment tax". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
- "The wealthiest universities are paying big endowment tax bills, but how much are others who are on the hook paying?". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
- "End the Endowment Tax". The Harvard Crimson. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- Wilson, John. "Why the Endowment Tax Is Unconstitutional". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- Powell, Alvin (21 December 2017). "Tax on university endowments passes". The Harvard Gazette. Harvard University. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- Kreighbaum, Andrew (23 April 2018). "Endowment Tax Fight Not Over Yet". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
- "H.R.5220 - Don't Tax Higher Education Act". Congress.gov. United States Congress. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- "H.R.4438 - Don't Tax Higher Education Act". Congress.gov. United States Congress. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY18 to FY19". National Association of College and University Business Officers. 2019.
- "Endowment funds of the 120 degree-granting postsecondary institutions with the largest endowments, by rank order: Fiscal year 2017". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- "Rankings | Highest endowment per student". College Raptor. Retrieved 3 August 2020.