Big college endowments are mostly American phenomenal. Critics, including some members of congress, are asking whether endowments are doing enough to help students in a time of soaring educational debt or if the support by tax per is just helping the richest schools to get richer.

For example, Harvard is not the only school with lots of money as of June 2015 - the endowments of the 812 US universities that responded to an industry survey amounted to more than 500 billion dollars, some 75 precent of that was held by the wealthiest 94 universities in the survey, which each had endowments of billion dollars or more.

Endowments have long played an essential role in the rise of some colleges. A request from George Eastman helped make the university of Rochester one of the richest universities. Donations came in flurries over the recent years. Endowments have also grown by adopting some rather aggressive investment techniques. Today, some schools with big endowments and smaller student bodies, like Princeton and Amherst, derive half their operating budgets from endowments.

A congressional research service report estimated that cutting the endowment by a 35 % rate would have produce 25 billion dollars and the cost of tax reductions claimed by colleges amounted to 6.3 billion dollars a year. Those benefits go to beat schools.

One advocacy group estimated that 6 billion dollars a year was needed to fund President Barack Obama's plan to make community college free, all that could be raised by a sliding scale tax between 5% - 2.5% with a college relationship.


Petros Stathis