On September 14, 2022

Colleges are also billionaires

Dear Editor,

U.S. colleges bear considerable responsibility for the student debt crisis. Colleges with fat endowments (and bloated tuitions) should be tapped to help address this crisis. How about increased federal and state taxes on endowments to help pay for the dangerous student-debt bailout idea? We hear billionaires should pay their fair share. Well, many institutions of higher ed are “billionaires.”

Here’s an extract from a May 4, 2018, Congressional Research Service report titled, “College and University Endowments: Overview and Tax Policy Options”:

“In 2017, college and university endowment assets were $566.8 billion. Endowment assets have been growing, in real terms, since 2009 … Endowment assets are concentrated, with 12% of institutions holding 75% of all endowment assets in 2017. Institutions with the largest endowments (Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Stanford) each hold more than 4% of total endowment assets … In 2017, endowment assets earned a rate of return of 12.2%, on average. Larger institutions tended to earn higher returns. Larger institutions also tended to have a larger share of assets invested in alternative strategies, including hedge funds and private equity.”

Enough said.

Louis Varricchio,
Middlebury

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