Colleges’ Endowments Could Help During the Covid-19 Pandemic
In 1981, when I was a senior at the University of Michigan, I interviewed the school’s new president, Harold Shapiro. An economist by training, Dr. Shapiro emphasized the importance of increasing the university’s endowment, which then totaled $115 million. That number would nearly triple during his eight-year tenure.
Over the past decades, the endowments of America’s richest universities have exploded in value. At the end of the last fiscal year, Harvard’s endowment was $41 billion, Princeton’s was $26 billion and Michigan’s was not far behind, at $12.4 billion.
It can be difficult to grasp what such numbers mean. Here is one way to think about it. Princeton has about 8,200 students. Ordinarily, the school spends around 5 percent of its total endowment each year. This means Princeton’s endowment generates about $158,000 per student in annual …continued .
[Source: New York Times]