Harvard Just Banked $32 Billion On Its Endowment--What Has Your College Done For Your Lately?

harvard

Photo: Patricia Drury

As many four-year colleges face drops in revenue and scramble to find rich kids to pay full tuition–Harvard wants you to know that it’s doing just fine. In fiscal year 2011, the university’s endowment ballooned 21.4% to $32 billion dollars, reports The Crimson.

How did the university do it? Well, Harvard has an impressive team of analysts overseeing its massive stock portfolio whose annual return is 12.9%. Even the school’s investment in domestic equities delivered a princely 34.6% return.The Harvard endowment also does well for itself by getting its uber-rich alumni to donate money through gifts, trusts and annuities so they can collect in the long-run, enhancing the divide between the haves and have-nots.

Of course in these times, not everything is peachy keen for the top-tier school: “Since the end of the fiscal year the markets have been exceptionally volatile, driven by concern and uncertainty related to the debt ceiling debate,” CEO of the Harvard Wealth Company Jane Mendillo told the Huffington Post. “The impact of these issues on our portfolio is unavoidable.”

But unlike the schools profiled in Inside HigherEd’s study on Wednesday, Harvard is more than happy to put $166 million of its astronomical endowment toward scholarships, which it promises to award to 60% of its undergraduates, with the average grant total ling $40,000. Perhaps that all that revenue can bring back those free, hot breakfasts the university went without in 2009.

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