There is a 99% among colleges, too

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Written by Hazel Weiser

An interesting chart appears in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2012.  Although giving to colleges and universities is up again, 8.2% in 2011, amounting to $30.3 billion, 86% of that giving went to just 25% of schools.

Replicating a portion of the total, look at the top ten schools to receive gifts this year:

College or University Total Private Gifts for 2010-11 (in millions) % change
Stanford University, CA $709.4 +18%
Harvard University, MA $639.2 +7%
Yale University, CT $580.3 +52%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA $534.3 +74%
Columbia University, NY $495.6 +23%
Johns Hopkins University, MD $485.4 +14%
University of Pennsylvania, PA $437.7 +15%
University of California, Los Angeles, CA $415.0 +22%
University of California, San Francisco, CA $409.4 +52%
University of Southern California $402.4 -6%


Looking at the list, we see that only three of the top ten schools receiving enormous gifts are public: University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, and UCSF.  Combined they received $1.262 billion in private donations.  However, the private universities really pulled in the money: $3.847 billion.  That’s over three times the giving.  See the entire list.

At the same time that private giving increased, and increased substantially, to the private university system, public funding of public universities was devastated.  Do you see where we might be headed?