Princeton University has a monstrous endowment of more than $22 billion. Princeton is also asking alumni to lobby Congress to block a tax on super-sized college and university endowments.
At over $60,000 a year, tuition for undergrads is also monstrous, so Princeton provides one-fourth of its undergrads with scholarships for those who find it difficult to meet expenses. Sound generous? Read about the absurdity of the math in the WSJ’s Review & Outlook.
In his regular Washington Post column, (George Will) penned a defense of one of the richest of the rich universities, Princeton. The fancy-pants university in New Jersey enjoys a monstrous endowment of more than $22 billion. But it is so noble and beneficent, Will tells us. Princeton provides scholarships to nearly one-fourth of its undergraduates who come from families that have difficulty paying its tuition, room, board, and fees, which exceed $60,000 per year.
That sounds generous, but it’s not. Do the math. A modest 5-percent return on $22 billion is $1.1 billion. Princeton has 5,000 undergraduates. That’s $220,000 for every undergraduate—every year. The amount given in scholarship aid is a piddling portion of Princeton’s endowment income. Assume that the quarter of Princeton students who get aid receive full scholarships (which they don’t, of course). That would cost the university around $75 million per year—less than 10 percent of its endowment income.
Read more here.
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