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More than 50 US colleges worth more than a billion

The number of North American colleges with endowments topping $1 billion has jumped to 56, a new study says, with nine schools joining the elite club in an average year for university investments. Harvard remained the richest, with $25.5 billion, followed by Yale with $15.2 billion.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 12:17 IST

The number of North American colleges with endowments topping $1 billion has jumped to 56, a new study says, with nine schools joining the elite club in an average year for university investments. Harvard remained the richest, with $25.5 billion, followed by Yale with $15.2 billion.

The University of Toronto became the first Canadian institution to amass $1 billion in American dollars. Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England are believed to be the only other schools with endowments that size. The National Association of College and University Business Officers surveyed 746 institutions for the study.

It found that those institutions earned an average of 9.3 per cent on their investments in the year ending June 30, compared to 15.1 per cent in 2004 and 3 per cent in 2003. Colleges typically spend about 5 per cent of their endowment per year to support everything from scholarships to landscaping.

Accounting for inflation and management fees, the investments generally need to earn about 9 per cent to preserve their spending power.

The other eight universities passing the $1 billion endowment mark were: University of Wisconsin Foundation, University of Nebraska and Foundation, University of Delaware, University of Cincinnati, Amherst College, Smith College, Southern Methodist University, and Baylor College of Medicine.