The Federal Subsidy of the Ivy League: Preliminary Findings | Open The Books 55._Federal_Subsidy_of_the_Ivy_League

October 17, 2016 01:35 AM
"If we don’t subsidize Ivy Leaguers now, how will they learn how to ask for a bail out later?"
Malcom Gladwell (@Gladwell) tweet | August 20, 2015
Ivy League Entitlements Costs Taxpayers $30 Billion (FY2010-FY2014)
Our most elite private schools are being subsidized by taxpayers to an extent that is far more generous than the support received by public colleges and universities. For example, over the past five years, taxpayer contracts, grants, direct payment, student assistance, and non-profit tax treatment subsidies averaged $6 billion annually for the eight Ivy League schools. 
With 58,982 undergraduate students, federal monies and subsidies averaged nearly $102,000 per student. Within the Ivy League, endowment funds on-hand amount to $2,017,241 per student.
What is the compelling public purpose for working-class and middle class taxpayers to subsidize the elite Ivy League schools?
Consider the following facts regarding the eight Ivy League schools (2010-2014):
  • The Ivy League was the recipient of $19B worth of federal contracts ($1B), grants ($17B) and direct payments ($1B). Therefore, federal programs administered by the Ivy League ($19B) exceeded student tuition ($18B).
  • The Ivy League amassed $117B in endowment funds. As a non-profit, educational institution, the Ivy League pays no tax on investment gains. In FY2014, the tax-free subsidy on endowment gains amounted to $3.4B, or nearly $60,000 per student. Between FY2010-FY2014, the Ivy League schools received a $9.45 billion tax break on the $27 billion growth of their endowment funds.
  • The Ivy League has no need for taxpayer student assistance. With continued gifts, the amassed $117B endowment fund (2014) would provide free tuition to the entire student body in perpetuity.
  • The Ivy League employs 47 administrators making over $1 million per year and two executives each made $20 million (2010-2014). $62 billion in comp flowed to Ivy League employees (2010-2014) – which is larger than the total annual budgets of 46/50 states.
Over the next thirty days, we anticipate release of the complete report: OpenTheBooks Oversight Report - The Federal Subsidy Of the Ivy League Colleges.
Back to news
Sign the Petition