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.
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.