Which college has the largest endowment?

Many colleges in the United States are competing in the list of colleges attracting the highest endowments. The government of the United States has presented the idea of providing endowments to all the educational institutes in the United States. The more endowments are provided the more facilitated the college becomes. Here we will see about Which college has the largest endowment?

Harvard University is considered one of the most prestigious college and it attracts the highest endowment amount which is around $42 Billion. After Harvard, the colleges like Yale University which is an Ivy League College and the University of Texas, attract endowments equal to $31 Billion each. Stanford University attracts $29 Billion and Princeton University attracts $26 Billion.

Which college has the largest endowment?

Use of endowment

Certain uses of the endowment by the college are:

  • The endowment that the college and universities receive enables the institutes to conduct innovative educational research programs.
  • It also enables the colleges to help the students explore new academic fields which eventually leads to the introduction of some new courses or programs in the college. 
  • Development of new teaching methods for the professors and teachers of the colleges using these endowments leads to proper movement of the management of the college. It also helps in raising donation capital. 
  • The college uses this donation capital to fund its ongoing operations on the campus like research programs or organisation of any important event, etc. 
  • The endowments which the college receives help the college manage its expenses or set of financial assets using which the college generates investment returns.
  • The college uses these endowments to provide scholarships to national and international students.
  • They use these endowments to upgrade the facilities and make the campus more comfortable.
  • They hire new, experienced and learned professors for their students using this endowment.

Importance of college endowment

College endowments directly impact many things like:

  • College fees
  • Scholarships
  • Financial aid
  • Facilities
  • Campus placements, etc.

The college which have large endowment tend to reward large scholarships to the national and international students. Endowments are important for the college’s reputation too. The college uses these endowments to bring better changes and facilities to the campus. It uses the endowments to design and introduce important programs and courses which attract a lot of students. Good undergraduate programs are popular among new college students and so for this reason the college needs high endowments. Students prefer going to the college which provides the best financial aid and scholarships which is only possible when the college gets high endowments.

How does Harvard University use its endowments?

Harvard University which is one of the most prestigious universities in the world receives the highest endowments. The university uses its endowments very wisely and diligently. There are multiple places which need funding like any other college but the university works with a scale of preference. This means that the university first prioritises what is important and then something next.

Various places where the university may use its endowments include:

  • Salaries for professors
  • Financial aid for undergraduates
  • Graduate fellowships
  • New events or programs
  • Introduction of new courses 
  • The hiring of new professors for new courses
  • Student facilities
  • Activities
  • Academic programs
  • Libraries
  • Art museums

What is the difference between the donations and the endowments any college receives?

Any college may receive two kinds of funding. One is called endowments and the other one is donations or funds. Both are different things. A donation is made by anyone who is an important person like any great alumni or old professor of the college. Endowments are generally given by the federal or state governments. Endowments are usually higher than the donations and form a major part of the income for the college. The high endowments help the college to pay out large salaries to all its professors while the donations can only be used for making certain changes in the facilities or doing something common which can serve everyone. By using donations one can build a new church in the campus which can be used by everyone in the campus. Donations form a very small part of income for the college and are negligible in front of endowments. Endowments are used by the colleges to maintain their buildings too. Other facilities which are considered important include water supply, washrooms, gymnasiums, hostels, food, housing, etc.

How much endowment does Harvard University receive?

Harvard University attracts around $53.2 Billion of endowments from the state and federal governments for its research programs, cost of infrastructure, salaries of professors and so on. The investment in the fiscal year 2020 shows the reports where we can see that the endowments have increased more than in previous years. This is making Harvard hire more learned professors. This is making Harvard introduce better undergraduate programs. The scholarships and financial aid have also increased as compared to the scholarships and financial aid years before. The university is focussing on maintaining academic excellence on the campus. It aims to provide the best education o all its citizens.

Are endowments for particular colleges fixed?

Endowments for a particular college are not fixed but structured for the long term. The government reviews the endowment after some time and then decides whether the amount is to be increased or not. Increasing endowments also depends on the needs of the college. If the college needs more funding the government decides to increase it. Endowments are provided to safeguard the culture of education and so are flexible. A rigid endowment system can lead to the downfall of the whole education system. 


Harvard University is the only university which receives the highest endowments. It is also the only university which uses the endowments provided by the government wisely and diligently. The endowments are provided for the betterment of any college. It depends on the college and how it uses it. However, failure to use the endowments wisely can lead to hearings in the court and then the college management and authorities are answerable to the court in that case. Endowments are not fixed and are flexible depending upon the conditions and needs of the college. The government has made plans of endowments to provide excellent education to the students in the form of relaxation in tuition fees and easy placement with high acceptance rates,

Frequently asked questions

  • Does the government provide endowments to all the colleges?

All public and private colleges receive endowments depending upon their requirements.

  • Which college has the second-highest endowments?

 Yale university receives the second highest endowments.

  • How to check my college application at Harvard University?

You can check your application details at the applicant portal.