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Harvard’s 2018 Endowment Makes It Wealthier Than 109 Countries in the World

Harvard’s 2018 Endowment Makes It Wealthier Than 109 Countries in the World

UT-Austin came in second.

Stacker released a list of the richest schools in America with Harvard coming out on top. This is not a shock, but it did shock me that its 2018 endowment of $38.3 billion made it wealthier than 109 countries in the world.

UT-Austin came in second. From Campus Reform:

University endowments operate in a fashion similar to tax-exempt hedge funds, reported Stacker. Private institutions often use nonprofit status to avoid tax, but a provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will levy a small tax on schools with funds totaling more than $500,000 per student. Harvard has 36,012 students, with an endowment per student average of more than $1 million.

Campus Reform reached out to Harvard for a breakdown of funding allocation and to see what the school thought of the college vs. countries statistic, but received no comment in time for publication.

With a 2018 endowment of $30.9 billion, the University of Texas system finished right beneath Harvard on Stacker’s list, as reported by KXAN.

UT Austin spokesman J.B. Bird told Campus Reform that diversity accounted for a “huge community” and that the funds “serve all people.” He highlighted that, among the individuals served by the funds are rural Texans.

Campus Reform also discussed the statistic with Karen Adler, the director of media relations for the UT system.

“The UT System endowment is made up of several different endowments and they all have different restrictions on how they can be spent,” Adler said. “The Texas Constitution stipulates how money from the Permanent University Fund – which constitutes a large portion of the UT System endowment – can be spent.”

Adler told Campus Reform that the UT system includes 240,000 students and 14 institutions.

“Philanthropic gifts make up another significant portion of the endowment. Donors specify how the money is to be spent (scholarships, professorships, research, etc.), and the university is responsible for honoring donor intent. In general, most gifts are restricted.”


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Morning Sunshine | August 30, 2019 at 8:59 am

first – the headline makes no sense – what is “SW” “Harvard’s 2018 Endowment Makes It Wealthier Than 109 Countries in the SW”

second – this means that Harvard needs to show it’s woke-ness by giving a majority of that money to poor countries. No one place of learning needs that much money. /sarcasm

Assuming a 5% annual return on investment, Harvard could give every student a credit of $50,000 a year and never touch the principal in the endowment fund. Isn’t that what endowments are supposed to be doing?

The article is misleading. It sounds like UT-Austin did not come in 2nd but the entire UT system did. That’s a whole lot less $ per student (although the vast majority goes to Austin) because of coverage of all UT system schools.