Catholic colleges, universities among US schools with largest education endowments

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports in its annual Almanac Issue 2010-2011 that 16 Catholic colleges and universities hold some of the largest endowments in North America. The Chronicle ranked 217 schools who participated in the survey by the 2010 National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Fordham among schools with largest endowments. (Photo/Fordham University)

Endowments are important to both public and private schools. Endowments provide two ready sources of funding for schools: interest on the endowment’s investment or cash from the endowment itself. Admittedly, schools are reluctant to spend down endowments they have worked so hard to build. Funds from endowments are used for scholarships, teaching, research, faculty salaries and infrastructure, and a host of other uses. A healthy endowment does not always ensure a quality education — there are a host of other factors that measure quality — but it never hurts.

The 16 Catholic colleges and universities with their rankings, locations and endowments are:

14. University of Notre Dame, Indiana, $5,234,841,000

37. Boston College, Massachusetts, $1,479,700,000

61. Georgetown University, District of Columbia, $1,009,735,760

88. St. Louis University, Missouri, $708,345,000

104. Santa Clara University, California, $603,617,774

120. College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, $522,494,000

156. Fordham University, New York, $371,543,516

162. University of Dayton, Ohio, $346,581,897

168. Loyola Marymount University, California, $326,212,657

169. Marquette University, Wisconsin, $326,003,000

171. Creighton University, Nebraska, $317,824,000

180. St. John’s University, New York, $303,057,055

183. Villanova University, Pennsylvania, $297,684,473

187. University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, $294,007,718

196. DePaul University, Illinois, $284,017,288

215. University of San Diego, California, $259,994,000

Who hit the number one spot on the list? As always, Harvard University with over $27 billion in endowment, the largest by a magnitude. Yale, Princeton, the University of Texas system and Stanford round out the top five.

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