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Colleges / Explore Lists / 21 Colleges with the Largest Endowments

21 Colleges with the Largest Endowments

List by College Confidential
Photo: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. They are collected through donations made to a school. An endowment does not necessarily indicate the quality of a school, but is an indicator of how much money a college can afford to invest in programs, facilities and resources to benefit the school and its students. Here is a list of the top 20 schools with the biggest endowments.

Stanford University

Stanford has an endowment of $37.8 billion. Stanford's endowment is used to support the university's focus on education, research, affordability, inclusion, and outreach.

  • Stanford University
    Stanford, CA
  • Vanderbilt University

    Vanderbilt focuses on using their endowment to provide as much support for students, faculty, and programs as possible. This means spending a significant portion of their endowment funds on scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Vanderbilt has an endowment of 6.9 billion.

  • Vanderbilt University
    Nashville, TN
  • The Ohio State University

    Ohio State uses its endowment funds to further the school’s mission of education, research, knowledge creation, and community service. Ohio State has an endowment of 5.2 billion.

  • Brown University

    Brown’s endowment funds are used to provide significant financial aid, support research and labs, academic programs, and more. Brown has an endowment of 4.7 billion.

  • Brown University
    Providence, RI
  • Harvard University

    Harvard primarily uses its endowment on financial aid and in 2021 the university used $597 million for financial aid and scholarships. Harvard has an endowment total of 41.9 billion.

  • Harvard University
    Cambridge, MA
  • Yale University

    Yale uses its endowment to fund student scholarships, provide faculty salaries, and other expenses. Yale’s endowment is 31.1 Billion.

  • Yale University
    New Haven, CT
  • Princeton University

    Princeton’s endowment is used to fund programs and research to benefit students and faculty. This includes financial aid, award winning research, research libraries, and more. Princeton has an endowment of 25.9 Billion.

  • Princeton University
    Princeton, NJ
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    MIT primarily uses its endowment to support research done by students and faculty by providing resources that ensure the most cutting-edge research can be achieved. MIT’s endowment is 18.3 billion.

  • University of Notre Dame

    Notre Dame prioritizes the use of its endowment to fund scholarships and fellowships as well as to provide academic, religious and student programs. It also uses endowment funds to support faculty chairs, libraries, athletics, and general operations. Notre Dame has an endowment of 14.9 billion.

  • University of Notre Dame
    Notre Dame, IN
  • University of Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania uses its endowment to fund instruction, health care, student aid, and research. University of Pennsylvania’s endowment is 14.8 billion.

  • University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Texas A&M University

    Texas A&M University has an endowment of 13.59 billion.

  • Texas A&M University
    College Station, TX
  • University of Michigan

    University of Michigan’s endowment is a collection of over 12,000 individual funds that are used to keep the university affordable by providing substantial financial assistance for students, fund academic programs, research, and other activities. University of Michigan’s endowment is 12.3 billion.

  • University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Columbia University

    Columbia uses its endowment funds on supporting students through financial aid including scholarships, research, faculty, and more. Columbia University’s endowment is 11.2 billion.

  • Columbia University
    New York, NY
  • Emory University

    Emory University has an endowment of 9.1 billion.

  • Emory University
    Atlanta, GA
  • Washington University in St. Louis

    Washington University in St. Louis uses their endowment for faculty and staff salaries, financial aid, research, special programs, and more. Washington University in St. Louis has an endowment of 8.5 billion.

  • University of Chicago

    In 2021, University of Chicago had its highest rate of return on their endowment since 2000. The university uses its endowment to support students, faculty, provide financial aid support, and more. University of Chicago’s endowment is 8.2 billion.

  • University of Chicago
    Chicago, IL
  • Rice University

    40% of Rice’s operating budget comes from endowments. Rice university has an endowment of 6.3 billion.

  • Rice University
    Houston, TX
  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University has an endowment of 6.3 billion.

  • Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD
  • Dartmouth College

    In coordination with the school’s commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need, Dartmouth uses a large portion of its endowment on financial aid programs including scholarships. Dartmouth has an endowment of 5.98 billion.

  • Dartmouth College
    Hanover, NH
  • University of Southern California

    USC’s endowment funds help support long-term growth of programs that will help students, programs, and activities. USC has an endowment of 5.7 billion.

  • The University of Texas at Austin

    The University of Texas at Austin has an endowment of 4.7 billion.

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