Wealthiest Colleges Attract Biggest Donors, Study Finds

Thursday, February 16, 2012

For the 99 percent of colleges, it was a pretty good fundraising year.

For the 1 percent of super-wealthy elite schools, it was a much-better one that catapulted them even farther ahead of the pack.

The latest annual college-fundraising figures, out today, show that donations to colleges and universities rose 8.2 percent in fiscal 2011, topping the $30 billion mark for just the second time, and improving many schools’ financial footing after several lean years because of the economic downturn.

Of the $30.3 billion collected by colleges and universities nationwide, $8.2 billion — or 27 percent — was raised by the top 20 institutions. At those universities, fundraising was 15.3 percent higher than the year before, widening a yawning wealth gap at the top of higher education.

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