10 richest colleges in America

With 75 US colleges holding more than $1 billion in endowment funding, some institutions of higher learning can truly be called rich. These are the top 10.

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Apr 4, 2012 8:06PM
Money doesn't buy you a better education, hard work does.  Money, however, buys you connections that will help you become wealthy.  Look at the studies and you'll find the best college students don't make the most money; people from wealthy families make the most money because of connections. Is it fair, probably not.  Is it reality, definately.
Apr 5, 2012 12:09PM
The question is: why are these name schools hoarding billions in endowment while jacking up tuition (that in turn forcing students to load up on government loans and that, in turn, making the government feel justified in meddling in education and student loans, etc.).  Why not simply unlimber and reduce tuition and spend endowment funds for quality professors who will teach, or to underwrite the education of deserving students who are otherwise choking on tuition and student loans?  For what rainy day is all of this money being saved?
Apr 5, 2012 8:42AM
College tuitions have always been high, but they're completely out of control now. It would be nice if some of the snootier colleges priced themselves right out of business, then the remaining ones would get the message and lower their tuition back down to a reasonable rate. It ridiculous that college grads have to spend half of their working careers paying off student loans....
Apr 18, 2012 8:59AM

i believe there is going to be a turning point in the very near future as the current higher education model is not sustainable. graduation from a top-tier private school with accompanying years of debt is going to result in reduced graduation rates of lower-income positions- ie teachers, etc.- as the term ROI becomes a serious consideration in the college decision process. 

there is no feasible way that someone can justify dropping 4+ years @ $50k to require admittance to a job paying $35k; as an investment, it would get shot down on paper, yet it continues to happen and it's only going to get worse as colleges/universitie​s seem to have figured out how to justify increasing annual prices beyond inflationary rates.

Apr 4, 2012 11:06PM

That's right, John. A student can get just as good of an education at a community college, as at some high priced university. Not all, but many community colleges have actual professionals teaching classes. I don't care how much money you have in your pocket; that money may buy you a passing grade, but it sure won't buy you the experience of working to understand your chosen field.

Apr 5, 2012 9:19AM

Online colleges will be the line of demarcation for the rising costs of education today. The old ideas that you can just keep increasing the price of everything using supply and demand as the basis of that idiotic theory is debunked easily by the realities of how diminished the price of homes are today as compared to the Bigger Is Better McMansions of the past decade.


This will also happen to colleges. Does it not occur to some people that prices on everything will only go just so high before they must fall to rational levels? Obviously, putting a price tag on education has produced the same mentalities as on Wall Street where no amount of raised prices is ever high enough. Oh no?


The biggest problem today is Big Business interference on every level. It results in a huge percentage of our tax dollars being spent to support Business and in no way returns to taxpayers for infrastructure and other needs of taxpayers. Instead, the focus is on handing trillions in subsidies to Big Businesses who then turn around and use those subsidies for everything but their intended purpose. This is directly related to the Big Business endowments that are part and parcel of overbloated egos.


Perfect example is what is happening in NJ. A huge endowment by a anonymous donor was made to Rowan College. Now, Governor Christie and others are hot to merge Rutgers Campus in Camden with Rowan. So are we not supposed to figure out that Mr. Big Anonymous Donor wants to try a coup de etat and get in on the Rutgers name while making the Rowan name equal to Rutgers? Not going to happen. But, Mr. Big Anonymous Donor can dream can't he?


It's always a real laugh when billionaires spend their moolah oh these kinds of coup de etats only to be shot down by public disagreement and protest. Not even a billionaire's wealth can stop the tides of public opinion.

Apr 5, 2012 3:28PM
@David Miller ... my kids and their friends went to Baylor, Texas, and A&M and they're now doctors, lawyers, CPA's and make 150k and up. You must have been hangin' out with the wrong sort of friends. Their professors weren't 'snooty' and were seriously interested in them, their education, and their success in the job market. While my kids did end up with some college loan debt (as did I), they received some scholarship money and they worked part-time during the school year and during summers. In the end, the debt was paid off by good jobs with good starting salaries. While Community Colleges are excellent for some things (my daughter took classes in the summer at San Jac to lighten her course load during the school year), they're not for everyone. As far as US colleges being a 'joke' ... if that's true, why is it so many top foreign students are beating down our doors to be accepted at our schools??
Apr 5, 2012 4:36PM
I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet but a lot of the "professors" who teach students at these high-end colleges are graduate students and graduate assistants, not the high paid Ph.ds you'd expect given the price of admission.Parents........save your money and send your kids to the great state universities around the country.
Apr 18, 2012 8:07AM
I don't understand. Why would alumni want to give money to any college when the colleges make so much? Are some alumni not thinking? I owe $45,000 to mine and will probably be paying on that for the next 25 years. My college will never see any "extra" money out of my wallet. 
Apr 18, 2012 10:51AM

The guy below who blames Pell grants and Obama for the rising tuition situation is an idiot. Just looking for an opportunity to call the president a "piece of crap." The tuition situation has been going on for a long time and is due to a number of factors. The president's policies are far from a key

factor. No matter the topic, no matter the issue, the government is bad and the president is a piece of crap to guys like that. My strong guess is that this guy and others like him rely on the government more than they know, but are too stupid to realize it. 

Apr 18, 2012 11:09AM

I went to MIT in the 1980s.  In 1985, my freshman year, my total costs were $12,000.   I came on here to write that I think the current costs are in line with that, given that it is 27 years later.  However, to my surprise, I just went and found some inflation (CPI) calculators on the web, and they are saying that $12,000 in 1985 is anywhere from $24,000-$41,000 now, with the vast majority of the calculations coming out in the mid-20's.  So, I take back what I was going to say ... it does look like tuition has greatly outstripped inflation in general.


However, I know that in many cases the students get steep financial aid (including scholarships).  In this respect, it seems a lot like the health care sector (in which I work) ... prices are jacked up so that those who do have money pay an inflated full-cost, and then the majority of people pay a steep discount off the "list" price.

Apr 18, 2012 12:10PM
Ego and greed are at every level in the US psychie. We teach kids that you have to have a college or university degree to get ahead. The colleges keep raising ALL costs, not just tuition, all-the-while many are very well off. The students are educated to make more money than they could ever use and our politicians cannot live within their means and ask for more money. Greed at all levels. Pathetic!
Apr 18, 2012 9:16AM
And they are lowering tuition when?
Apr 18, 2012 3:29AM

My entire 4 years at Arizona State University (Tempe) cost less than $800, including books from 1956-60.  I lived at  home, commuted about five miles to school.  I was an Arizona resident.  My wife and I had 4 children while I was a student there.  At that time, Arizona State had around 8500 students.  Now, Arizona State is the largest University in the country, with more than 70,000 students at 3 campuses within a 20 mile radius (aprx.).  What has happened to the cost of education  for our children and grandchildren?

Apr 30, 2012 7:57AM

Harvard could offer free tuition for every student for 30 years or more and still have some change left. Somethings not quite right with this picture.

If there is any federal funding going to these schools it should be stopped immediately!

Apr 18, 2012 11:26AM

this is exactly why the great usa is doomed. instead of supporting a system that helps with the best education system in the world it has become a student mill to make as much money as possible.Before i get attacked, think about how more and more immigrants are getting the the technical and medical field related jobs . Makes you think , Thank you america your screwed most of us!

Apr 18, 2012 10:21AM
knjeot - what the hell does obama being president have to do with rising tuition costs? This has been an issue forever and didn't just start when he took office. Institutions have alumni support but they also network and get sponsorship from a variety of businesses and people. I went to private school as an undergraduate that had a hefty endowment and it is a very little school in Iowa who happened to invest in intel when an alum of the college made the chip and they made hundreds of millions from their investment. The college used 50,000 of their own money and one of the board of directors used 50,000 of his money and gave all the proceeds to the college. Colleges want to be around a long time so they also invest. When the stock market went down, endowments went down as well just as it did for anyone with 401k or stocks or mutual funds. The money that alumni give - unless is a huge school with alumni giving tons of money - doesn't touch what the universities invest and get from other benefactors. Not all people will be able to afford college but there are lots of people taking 8 to 10 years to get a 4 year degree because they have to work and they want that piece of paper that they might be able to take a couple of classes at a time. Some schools will always be expensive. Tuition at some of these schools do not fund the endowment. It might help a little but you all are sadly mistaken as the bills to run a school, pay professors, research - in the Ph.D programs I looked at candidates don't really pay tuition until they finish their classes so the universities are losing money. As tax payers maybe we should fight to make sure the state universities have affordable tuition so that at least people can get an education if they choose. I don't know if pell grants have changed since I went to college in 1988 but there was a cap of 2600 (maybe for the entire year)!!
Apr 30, 2012 7:21AM
All of these schools seem to have had a revenue increase of 15% or more and I bet that is the norm with most universities, but yet they all claim they need to increase tuition...... Texas for such a rich school has a decently low tuition to their credit.
Apr 18, 2012 10:40AM
Think back to the cost per credit hour some 20-25 years ago. Now, think of the related costs to send a student to college today and, please don't tell me it's all about higher salaries of professors and operating budgets and the like. I can't help but think that the plethora of government loans, grants and other grants all became a cash cow for colleges. Some colleges go begging for students while others get only the best and the brightest who often have to pay for their gifts. It's a sort of Ponzi scheme where the real scammed pays for many years after an education. The way it is now, it's not too likely costs will ever be rolled back any time soon.
Apr 18, 2012 12:10PM
as I ride around different parts of America, one thing is obvious, another more subtle.  The obvious is that no entity, channel of trade, bank, nothing, is building new buildings, spending $$ like our universities.  The more subtle message is, where is the demand?  Many have posted the need for a cost-to-benefit ratio, and I agree with that.  We are over educated, under-staffed for trade & craft jobs and  could use some new thinking in how we gather, then spend our money for educating all of America.  I am a college grad, my school is always in the US News & World Report's Top 20, but did not make this list which is surprising.  Suppose the family who was leaving so much money to it when I was there finally died out.  Seriously need to consider fitting education output to economic needs, needs of a society for all types of educated workers. 
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