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Philanthropy’s new math – Flip side of giving

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Big-time donations to colleges and universities have their downside, The Wall Street Journal reported March 8.

After receiving a $128 million bequest two years ago, DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., has been hit with rising costs to manage the bequest and revamp existing buildings to make room for projects funded by the gift, the Journal said.

“Let me tell you why $128 million is not a lot of money,” DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms told the Journal, spelling out the new math of higher education’s brave new fundraising world.

America’s colleges are richer and more in demand than ever, the Journal said.

Combined endowment assets for the 509 schools surveyed each year by the National Association of College and University Business Officers totaled $195 billion in 1999.

More than half of those boast endowments of $100 million or more each, with Harvard’s alone totaling $19 billion.

Yet tuition has grown 51 percent at public universities in the past 10 years, well above the inflation rate, while a year of private school costs as much as year’s mortgage — $22,541 – and college fundraising appeals jam mailboxes, the Journal said.

For full story, go to The Wall Street Journal.

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