The 10 Wealthiest Colleges in the Nation

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

College endowments had a less-than-banner year in 2015. However, these 10 schools won't be pleading poverty anytime soon.

College endowments saw lower returns in 2015 than they’ve seen in three years.

Endowments netted an average return of 2.4 percent for the 2015 fiscal year — which ended in June — compared with 15.5 percent for the prior fiscal year, according to the 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers, or NACUBO, is a membership organization representing more than 2,100 higher-education institutions nationwide. The Common Fund for Nonprofit Organizations, or Commonfund, is a nonprofit asset management firm.

Ten-year returns, which many endowment managers use as a target for long-range planning purposes, also declined to an average of 6.3 percent last year from 7.1 percent the prior year.

John D. Walda, NACUBO president and chief executive, says:

“FY2015’s lower average 10-year return is a great concern. On average, institutions derive nearly 10 percent of their operating funds from their endowments.

Lower returns may make it even tougher for colleges and universities to adequately fund financial aid, research and other programs that are very reliant on endowment earnings.”

Among the 10 colleges with the largest endowments, however, eight saw their endowment funds’ market value increase in 2015 — and all 10 now have endowments worth at least approximately $10 billion each.

Harvard University has the largest endowment by far, worth $36.4 billion as of last year, according to the study’s rankings of 812 institutions.

That makes it equivalent to the market value of Prudential Financial, according to Forbes data from May, and worth more than large publicly traded companies such as Delta Air Lines, Cigna and General Mills.

The 10 colleges with the biggest endowments are:

  1. Harvard University — $36.4 billion
  2. Yale University — $25.6 billion
  3. University of Texas System — $24.1 billion
  4. Princeton University — $22.7 billion
  5. Stanford University — $22.2 billion
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — $13.5 billion
  7. Texas A&M University System and Foundations — $10.5 billion
  8. Northwestern University — $10.2 billion
  9. University of Pennsylvania — $10.1 billion
  10. University of Michigan — $10 billion

By comparison, the average endowment among the more than 800 schools studied was about $651.5 million, with more than half of the schools’ endowments worth less than $115 million.

What’s your take on these rankings? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 7 Retailers That Allow Online Coupon Code ‘Stacking’

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,766 more deals!