Breaking down the support potential of college endowments
- An examination of Harvard's endowment spending by lendingtree.com found one-third of the institution's operating funds come from the endowment, while more than $78.2 million per year goes to the salaries of endowment and portfolio managers.
- Faculty salaries, financial aid and academic programs are also funded through the endowment, but critics say given the nonprofit status of the institutions, more can and should be done to promote affordability and access for more students.
- The report, however, does not break down how much endowment spending is actually given to merit and need-based scholarship support, and doesn't discuss the conditions attached to the funds typically given to college endowments.
In analyzing elite private institutions which only receive public funding from tuition, federal research grants and contracts and which are typically attended by students who can afford most of the costs, there is an unfair assertion that under-resourced students are being deprived of earned support.
The harsh reality for college leaders is that public confidence in higher education is dwindling because of business models which no longer effectively serve most of the population. Too many buildings, too many employees and not enough resources for technology and remediation are compounded by the fact that too many students are not prepared for college-level work. It is up to presidents to make the case of how endowment investments enhance the college experience, and are essential to distinguishing programs of strength and brand for future growth.
- LendingTree.com Major money machines