The most exclusive and elite private colleges are heavily subsidized by taxpayer funds, according to a report on funds that Ivy League colleges receive from the federal government.
The eight schools received more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds between 2010 and 2014, according to the non-partisan government spending research group American Transparency (OpenTheBooks.com). Each school received an average of $6 billion in taxpayer funds annually in that time period, including government contracts, grants, student aid, and non-profit tax benefits.
Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania have large, untaxed endowments totaling $117 billion on-hand as of 2014. That’s equal to about $2 million per student, which, with continued contributions from alumni and friends of the colleges, would be enough to “provide free tuition to the entire student body in perpetuity,” OpenTheBooks says in its report.
When invested, Ivy League endowment funds returned $3.4 billion in 2014, or nearly $60,000 per student.
Republican nominee Donald Trump said that colleges should be more willing to dip into their endowments. (RELATED: Trump To Colleges: Cut Costs, Or Lose Taxpayer Cash)
“If universities want access to all of these federal tax breaks and tax dollars paid for by you,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Chester Township, Pa., in September. “They have to make good faith efforts to reduce the cost of college.”
OpenTheBooks will release its complete report in the next month.
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