Colleges with the Biggest Endowments

A colleges endowment is intended to support current and future generations of their scholars with the resources needed to advance knowledge, research, and innovation. As such, endowment funds are used for the school’s normal operations and activities, including education, research, campus renewal, faculty work, and student financial aid.

Here are the biggest endowments (as reported by each college – fiscal year ending on June 30, 2017):

  • Harvard – $37.1 Billion
  • Yale – $27.2 Billion
  • Stanford – $24.8 Billion
  • Princeton – $23.8 Billion
  • M.I.T. – $14.8 Billion
  • U Penn – $12.2 Billion

A published research paper: “Why University Endowments Are Large And Risky” by Professors Thomas Gilbert and Christopher Hrdlicka of Washington University’s Foster School of Business, shows that over the past 30 years, universities have chased higher returns on their endowments, leading them to take greater risks. More than 75% of assets in university endowments are now in risky investments, including but not limited to: equities, hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, non-campus real estate, natural resources and distressed debt.


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities.