Universities report record year of fundraising

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February 23, 2008

4:31 PM

In a preliminary report released recently by the Council for Aid to Education, it was reported that colleges nationwide raised a total of about $30 billion in private donations, a 6 percent increase from last year. The report also showed that the monetary gap between some institutions has been growing at a constant rate, making some institutions wealthier when compared to others.

p. The council, a non-profit organization aimed at producing policy research for higher education purposes, also reported that nearly $7.7 billion, or one-fourth of the total funds, were donated to 20 institutions, less than one percent of the nation’s colleges and universities. Five universities were recorded as raising more than $400 million, and Stanford University raised the most with $832 million.

p. The College’s fundraising figures are not yet available.
The report comes at a time when institutions have been accused of being fund-raising machines that do not care about college policy, as well recent movements by Congress that encourage universities to spend more of their endowments.

p. However, universities have responded to the position of Congress and criticism from the academic community by stating that their endowments are always put to good use.

p. “Harvard and many other universities make enormous contributions to our nation in research, scholarship, medicine and the arts due in large part to the resources we raise and invest,” Harvard University spokesman John Longbrake said.

p. Universities have also been using their resources for various aid purposes. Starting with Harvard late last year, wealthy schools have been announcing ambitious financial aid programs. Stanford University recently used a large portion of its funds in a monumental financial aid program that would provide free tuition for families that earn less than $100,000 per year and free tuition, room and board to those students whose families’ household incomes are less than $60,000 per year.

p. “Our donors hopefully are feeling very good about how we are making the absolute best use of their philanthropic dollars,” Stanford’s Vice President for Development Martin Shell said. “It is something we take very seriosly. There are an unlimited number of very worthwhile causes and needs out there.”

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