Report: Harvard Has More Money Than Half of the World’s Countries

The Associated Press
Elise Amendola/AP

Recently published financial figures revealed that Harvard University has more money than half of the world’s countries. Harvard’s $38.3 billion endowment puts it ahead of 195 countries in terms of total wealth.

According to a report by Campus Reform, Harvard University’s massive endowment makes them wealthier than half of the world’s countries. And they aren’t alone. Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M University System, University of Michigan, and Northwestern University all are wealthier than many nations.

The report calculated the wealth of countries around the world by referencing Credit Suisse’s 2018 Global Wealth Report, which calculates the “total wealth” of countries. Harvard University, which boasts an endowment of $38.3 billion, makes them richer than 195 of the world’s countries.

Harvard University isn’t the only institution of higher learning that is worth billions. The University of Texas system, which is comprised of 14 institutions, has an endowment of $30.9 billion.

Karen Adler, the director of media relations for the UT system, defended the university’s systems massive endowment, making sure to highlight that there are restrictions on the ways in which their endowment can be spent.

“The UT System endowment is made up of several different endowments and they all have different restrictions on how they can be spent,” Adler said in a short comment. “The Texas Constitution stipulates how money from the Permanent University Fund – which constitutes a large portion of the UT System endowment – can be spent.”

Adler pointed out that large private donations are responsible for a large portion of the massive endowment. “Philanthropic gifts make up another significant portion of the endowment. Donors specify how the money is to be spent (scholarships, professorships, research, etc.), and the university is responsible for honoring donor intent. In general, most gifts are restricted,” Adler added.

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