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ERIC Number: ED508542
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 80
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
PostSecondary Education: College and University Endowments Have Shown Long-Term Growth, While Size, Restrictions, and Distributions Vary. GAO-10-393
US Government Accountability Office
The nation's 4-year not-for-profit colleges and universities collectively held more than $400 billion in endowments in 2008. Some institutions' large endowments coupled with the high and growing cost of college have led to questions about institutions' use of endowments. This mandated report describes: (1) the size and change in value of endowments over the last 20 years; (2) the extent and manner to which endowment funds are restricted for financial aid and other purposes; and (3) institutions' distribution of endowment assets. GAO obtained and analyzed data on college and university endowments from the Department of Education and other sources. Because industry-wide data were not available on endowment restrictions and distributions, GAO selected 10 colleges and universities for case studies. The case-study institutions were selected to include a mix of public, private, large, small, and minority-serving institutions. Information from these schools cannot be generalized to all U.S. colleges and universities. GAO is not making any recommendations in this report. Officials at the schools GAO selected as case studies were asked to review information in this report concerning their institutions. The Department of Education also provided technical comments on GAO's characterization of Department of Education data. GAO incorporated these technical comments as appropriate. Appended are: (1) Objectives, Scope, and Methodology; (2) Berea College Case Study; (3) Harvard University Case Study; (4) Howard University Case Study; (5) Smith College Case Study; (6) St. Mary's University Case Study; (7) Stanford University Case Study; (8) University of Colorado Case Study; (9) University of Kentucky Case Study; (10) University of Texas System Case Study; (11) University of Virginia Case Study; and (12) GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments. (Contains 19 tables and 27 figures.)
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: US Government Accountability Office