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HomeArticlesUniversities with Largest Endowments Per Student 2023 Ranking
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Universities with Largest Endowments Per Student 2023 Ranking

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Universities with Largest Endowments Per Student

Parents and students compare prospective institutions using a variety of tools. A factor that is occasionally taken into account is a school’s endowment. We have a tendency to associate wealth with quality, but should students consider an institution’s endowment size when selecting a college?

Let’s take a closer look at the definition of university endowments before we get into this topic.

What Is a School Endowment?

When donating money to a university, donors have two basic choices: (1) make the donation disposable, allowing the funds to be used immediately, or (2) establish an endowment.

A university endowment can be compared to a savings or retirement account. Interest is generated by the main, or corpus, and must be used in accordance with the donor’s instructions. That principle is unaltered throughout perpetuity, or continuously.

Let’s use the donation of $100,000 as an example. The endowment will distribute $5,000 at a spending rate of 5% (college rates normally vary from 4-6%), which must be utilized as the donor intended, such as as a scholarship.

These endowed funds are invested by colleges, who frequently earn returns higher than the 5% cost. Otherwise, the $100,000 endowment will have far less of an influence on future generations because the corpus does not grow over time and does not keep up with inflation.

The donor may decide to designate the contribution as disposable rather than creating an endowment. Consider that they establish a scholarship in memory of their mother and call it the Elizabeth Miller Memorial Scholarship for Nursing Students.

The donor believes that giving $20,000 annually to one or more deserving students will have a more immediate impact than giving the approximately $5,000 annually that an endowment would produce. The corpus, however, would be exhausted in such situation after just five years. An endowment, on the other hand, would last eternally and preserve the generosity of the Miller family as well as Elizabeth Miller’s memory.

Universities may also have quasi endowments, which provide the same functions as traditional endowments while also allowing the institution to spend the corpus as needed in the future.

The lesson to be learned from this is that universities don’t have a single endowment; instead, they have thousands of endowments that donors built with a variety of goals in mind. These monies are only to be used for specific things, like athletics, faculty and academic programs, and scholarship aid. Some endowments, which make up a small portion of the entire endowment, are unrestricted, giving the institution complete authority over expenditures.

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Endowment Per Student: What does it mean?

The amount of endowment per student should be taken into consideration after the endowment of a school, and this is what it means.

The amount of money that a college or university can allocate to its students, particularly in financial assistance like bursaries, fellowships, and scholarships, is known as an endowment per student.

A school with a greater endowment has a higher endowment per student, whereas a school with a smaller endowment has a lower endowment per student.

You now understand the significance of endowment to both students and higher education institutions as well as how helpful it is while selecting a school. Students can take advantage of a variety of financial aid incentives and modern amenities at a university with the highest endowment per student.

universities with largest endowments
universities with largest endowments

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How Endowments Benefit Students

Almost any expenditure that a university makes can be funded via endowments. Endowments typically provide the following funding:

  • Student aid
  • Faculty assistance
  • Academic initiatives
  • Student life programs
  • Research
  • Institutions and centers
  • Facilities
  • Technology
  • Athletics
  • Speaker series and associated after-school pursuits

Universities with Largest Endowments Per Student

The strength of the stock market is one of several variables that affects these metrics, but the relative rankings largely hold true year after year.

The list of the universities with largest endowments per student is provided below, along with basic contact information and direct links in case you need to get in touch with any of them regarding admission or scholarship inquiries.

  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pomona College
  • Swarthmore College

Princeton University

One of the Ivy League universities, Princeton University is renowned both domestically and abroad for providing top-notch academic programs at all academic levels, including bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, and other credentials.

The university with the highest endowments per student worldwide is Princeton University. With a $25.92 billion endowment, Princeton is among the top three wealthiest colleges in the world, with Harvard occupying the top spot.

universities with largest endowments
Princeton University: University with largest endowments

Princeton University has the most endowment per student at $3,166,813, making it the largest university overall. Because of how the endowments per student are determined, you can argue that because Harvard is the richest university in the world, it should have the highest endowments overall.

The university’s overall financial health is divided by the total number of students to determine endowments per student.

Harvard has more students than Princeton; there are 8,184 undergraduate and graduate students at Princeton University in total.

Given that Princeton was founded in 1746, its antiquity is another element that contributes to it being one of the colleges with the highest endowments per student. Other elements that contribute to the university’s inclusion on this list are its notoriety and contributions to the world.

Yale University

Another Ivy League institution making the list of colleges with the highest endowments per student is hardly a big thing.

Each and every student aspires to attend Yale University and obtain a degree because of its excellent reputation both domestically and globally. She has an endowment of $29.35 billion because to the generous donations from people all across the world drawn by her reputation and contribution to delivering top-notch education.

With a $2,270,702 endowment per student, Yale is one of the wealthiest colleges in both the United States and the rest of the world. The university has a larger endowment than Princeton, but so does its student body, with 12,926 undergraduate and graduate students participating in a wide variety of academic disciplines.

You may wish to select a university with fewer students in order for the endowment to be reasonable as the enrollment at a university has a significant impact on the endowments per student.

These colleges include Princeton and Yale, but you are well aware of how difficult it is to get into them and how expensive the tuition is. With the substantial endowment, however, you can take advantage of chances for financial aid as well as top-notch facilities and other perks.

Harvard University

Another Ivy League school is expected; after all, it meets all the criteria to be on this list. It has an outstanding reputation, offers degrees that are respected all over the world, and has produced notable graduates.

With a $38.30 billion endowment, Harvard University is both the richest university in the USA and the entire globe.

The Ivy League member’s $1 billion endowment allows her to provide each of her 20,970 pupils an endowment of $1,826,580. As a result, Harvard University ranks among the top universities with the highest endowments per student. Princeton and Yale still outperform Harvard, but only because of the latter’s higher enrollment.

The oldest university in the country and among the oldest in the globe since its founding in 1636, it has never faltered in its commitment to giving students the tools they need to be exceptional students.

This entails a variety of financial assistance options, a top-notch education, and you are already aware of how competitive Harvard is. It is 5.4% acceptance rate.

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Stanford University

You assumed that the Ivy League schools would fill every available place. Although Stanford University is not an Ivy League institution, it has a well-deserved reputation for providing top-notch instruction to all students.

Every student’s dream is to be a part of her renowned academic degree programs, which are recognized both nationally and globally.

With a $26.46 billion endowment, Stanford University is one of the wealthiest universities in the entire globe, including her native America.

With a $1,606,661 endowment per student, the university also has one of the greatest student populations, which benefits 16,472 undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.

In addition to gifts, Stanford University also receives funding for its endowment via sponsored research, healthcare services, and returns on endowment assets. They are then directed into giving her students the best learning experience and supporting them in any manner that is feasible.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has the sole university endowment under $20 billion at $16.53 billion, although the school’s small student body makes the money go further. MIT is also listed as one of the most affluent colleges in the world and the US.

With a billion-dollar endowment, MIT has one of the highest endowments per student at $1,465,895, ranking among the top colleges.

universities with largest endowments
MIT: universities with largest endowments

Private research university MIT has been around since its founding and has generated outstanding graduates who are currently supporting the institution financially and via their research.

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Pomona College

Pomona College, which was founded in 1887 and is currently recognized as the 11th best university in the country, has a $2.33 billion endowment.

Pomona is undoubtedly not the wealthiest institution right after MIT, and the endowment may appear modest; yet, the college’s tiny enrollment helps the $2.32 billion endowment go further per student.

With an endowment of $1,486,314 million per student, Pomona College ranks among the institutions with the highest endowments per student.

Because there are just 1,500 students enrolled at this college, the endowment is sufficient. As you can see, the student body matters even more than the school’s endowment, therefore this should assist you in selecting a college to attend.

Pomona is able to provide students a top-notch educational experience, complete with first-rate facilities and financial assistance, because to its substantial endowment per student.

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College comes in first place among institutions with the highest endowments per student despite having an endowment of only $2.2 billion, which is quite a distance from the richest universities in the world.

The student body is what set it apart from other prestigious universities that were excluded from this list despite their wealth.

With a $1,370,157 endowment per student, several scholarships, bursaries, fellowships, and other forms of financial aid are made available.

The College was established in 1864 and is presently recognized as the 17th best university in the country.

Due to the modest size of the student body, the endowment can adequately support her students.

World-famous graduates from Swarthmore College have made significant intellectual and financial contributions to the college and its students.

The seven institutions with the highest endowments per pupil worldwide are listed here, along with information about them. If you are interested in applying to any of these colleges, do well to do more study.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ivy League institution with the lowest endowment?

The Ivy League's smallest endowment belongs to Brown.

Which college produces the most millionaires?

US-based Harvard University: 13,650.

There are reportedly 188 billionaires who have graduated from it, some of them are dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg, who is worth $92.9 billion (£72.3 billion), and Bill Gates, whose net worth is $114.7 billion (£89.2 billion).

What private university in America is ranked number one?

Boston University of Technology
Approximately 11,250 students are enrolled at MIT, often known as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

What university in the world is ranked in the top 1%?

For the seventh year in a row, Oxford University topped the list.


The fact that every single one of these universities is located in the United States is not surprising given that the country is home to some of the best and oldest universities in the world.

Another factor is that these universities don’t take on a lot of students because of how competitive they are.

Countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, and others can hardly qualify for this list because their schools enroll more students annually, resulting in comparatively low endowments per student.

The endowments per student listed here are in millions of dollars, but those for universities in Canada, the UK, and Australia are in thousands of dollars, disqualifying them from this topic.

Since you are already interested in the institutions listed here, continue your research by clicking on the links to find out more about the criteria for admission, the application procedure, and any scholarships.


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