Higher Education Donations Hit All-Time High in 2014; a Look Back at the Biggest Gifts

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

Donations in higher education hit an all-time high in 2014, with colleges and universities across the U.S. raking in a grand total of about $38 billion.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) released the data Wednesday and noted that the previous record was set in 2013 at $33.8 billion. Sans inflation rates, the jump from 2013 to 2014 was the biggest on record for the CAE since 2000.

Per Inside Higher Ed, here are the 10 schools with the most donations funds in 2014:

1.     Harvard University, $1.16 billion

2.     Stanford University, $929 million

3.     University of Southern California, $732 million

4.     Northwestern University, $616 million

5.     Johns Hopkins University, $615 million

6.     Cornell University, $546 million

7.     University of Texas - Austin, $529 million

8.     University of Pennsylvania, $484 million

9.     University of Washington, $478 million

10.  Columbia University, $470 million

Foundations accounted for the biggest source of donations to higher education institutions in each of the last two years with alumni coming in a close second both times as well. Corporations gave the fourth-most donations after non-alumni.

Donations are often given for a specific purpose, as were these most notable in 2014:

University of Arkansas

Donor: family of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys

Amount: $10.65 million

Purpose: Completion of the Student-Athlete Success Center

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Donor: Samuel Tak Lee

Amount: $118 million

Purpose: Real estate entrepreneurialship and academics

Johns Hopkins University

Donor: Ludwig Cancer Research

Amount/purpose: $90 million give to Hopkins was part of shared $540 million gift for cancer research at various U.S. institutions.

Harvard University

Donor: Morningside Foundation

Amount: $350 million

Benefactor: School of Public Health

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Amount: $650 million

Donor: Ted Stanley

Purpose: psychiatric research

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