The Dirty Little Secret of America’s Top Colleges and Universities June 25, 2015

Another school year has ended and student loan debt is in the trillions! Colleges and universities are sitting on billions of dollars in endowment money, and college students are being saddled with huge amounts of debt.

For example, Harvard has an endowment of over $36 billion. That’s bigger than half the world’s economies!

Harvard could give away a $50,000 scholarship every hour their regular classes are in session and still not exhaust the year-over-year increase in their endowment fund. But of course, they don’t. Why?

Yale has a $24 billion endowment. Princeton and Texas over $20 billion. Stanford’s tops $21 billion.

Why are colleges and universities allowed to sit on mountains of cash while they continue to jack up tuition costs?

Seventy-five colleges and universities have over $1 billion in their endowments, and get a free pass on taxes. Why are they not required to pay their fair share?

Why are they allowed to stockpile money with no taxes due and no consequences? How are they allowed to push up costs to $250,000 per student for a 4-year degree – and still get preferential tax treatment?

Sure, a portion of the endowment money goes to fund campus operations and some scholarships. But lots of it doesn’t get used at all. It’s just invested to make more and more money…

What really is shameful is there are thousands of families with amazing kids who are going to be saddled with crippling student loans for decades. At the same time, elite schools continue to pocket billions in endowment gains while enjoying tax advantages not available to individuals or businesses.

With odds like this stacked against parents, it’s more important than ever for families to understand the financial aid system — to get merit or need aid so their child doesn’t have to pay full price for college.  

With elections on the horizon, this is a topic on the agenda of politicians.  Both parties are addressing the escalating costs of college as well as the increasing, out of control, amount of money in student debt.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for Washington to save the day. If you’re a parent with a child planning to attend college in the next five years, you need to get to know the formula all colleges use to determine how much money your family will have to pay.

As a Parent, What Are Your Options?

About the author

Ian Welham is a nationally known expert on getting into and paying for college. He is co-author of the best-selling book CASH FOR COLLEGE, and is the founder of Complete College Planning Solutions. Mr. Welham and his company have been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Kiplinger’s, and many other publications. He’s served as the college expert on AOL Finance, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows across the country. Thousands of families have attended and benefited from his live workshops. His most popular webinar, “Fast Track to College: How to find the right-fit school and pay for it without going broke,” is running this week.

This post was written by paul on June 25, 2015
Posted Under: Uncategorized

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