College Endowments: What You May Not Know — And Why Schools Aren’t as Rich as You Think (Time)


Talk of college endowments tends to prompt a fair amount of armchair quarterbacking, replete with comments suggesting that with “so much money, students should attend free of charge!” or “they’re doing so well, certainly they don’t need a gift from me.” Not true, writes Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder of the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners.

Rotherham’s Time magazine piece, “College Endowments: Why Even Harvard Isn’t as Rich as You Think,” offers five reasons that “the reality of how college endowments work is different from the rhetoric.”


  1. Mark Lesser says:

    If schools would be more open and honest about their finances we would not need articles about the “reality” of how they work. For my money, an institution that enjoys tax breaks under the guise of “non-profit” should be required to suffer the scrutiny of the public whose tax money it relies on. The article failed to mention that the earnings accrued to the endowments are tax free.

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