A nonprofit government watchdog group has determined that the nation’s eight Ivy League universities in recent years have taken in more money in taxpayer-funded government support than undergraduate student tuition.
The 48-page report points out that in monetary terms, the “government contracting business of the Ivy League” took in $25 billion in federal contracts and grants for the 2010 through 2015 fiscal years — exceeding the $22 billion in undergrad student tuition during that same time frame.
Open The Books, in their report released this week, also found that between the 2010 and 2015 fiscal years, Ivy League government payments and entitlements overall cost taxpayers nearly $42 billion.
This support comes despite the fact that the schools sit on endowments that exceed $119 billion, equivalent to nearly $2 million per undergraduate student, according to a news release from the group.
Other key findings, according to Open The Books:
Ivy League payments and entitlements cost taxpayers $41.59 billion over a six-year period (FY2010-FY2015). This is equivalent to $120,000 in government monies, subsidies, & special tax treatment per undergraduate student, or $6.93 billion per year.
The eight colleges of the Ivy League received more money ($4.31 billion) – on average – annually from the federal government than sixteen states (see image at left).
As a non-profit, educational institution, the Ivy League pays no tax on investment gains. Between FY2011-FY2015, the Ivy League schools received a $9.6 billion tax break on the $27.3 billion growth of their endowment funds. In FY2014, the tax-free subsidy on endowment gains amounted to $3.4 billion, or nearly $60,000 per student.
In FY2014, the balance sheet for all Ivy League colleges showed $194,332,115,120 in accumulated gross assets. This is equivalent to $3.35 million per undergraduate student.
The Ivy League employs 47 administrators who each earn more than $1 million per year. Two executives each earned $20 million between 2010-2014. Ivy League employees earned $62 billion in compensation.
The eight schools considered the Ivy League are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities as well as Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania.
“The Ivy League needs to pay its own way,” Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books, told Fox News. “The taxpayer gravy train needs to end.”
“They have got an endowment, right?” he added. “They can use their endowed funds – they don’t need public funds – to fund studies.”
In statements to Fox News, some Ivy League spokespeople suggested the report has flaws because it did not take into account reinvestments, and that tax incentives fund libraries, laboratories, classrooms, research and financial aid, and that the schools do use their endowments to fund a lot of research.
OpenTheBooks’ full report is available here.