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What a Difference a Decade Makes: Growing Wealth Inequality among Ivy League Institutions.

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This study examined the growing inequality in wealth among the Ivy League institutions. In July 1990, the endowments at the 8 Ivy League institutions varied from about $441 million at Brown to $4.683 billion at Harvard. A decade later, the range was $1.44 billion to $19.2 billion. The Ivy institutions' endowments grew by an average of 261% during the decade, far exceeding the decade's increase in consumer prices of 30.9%. Focusing on endowment per student is probably the best way to illustrate how wide the resource differences are across the institutions. In 2000, the 3 richest Ivy institutions had endowments averaging more than $1,000,000 per student (Princeton, Harvard, Yale), while the bottom 3 (Brown, Cornell, Pennsylvania) averaged under $200,000. It must be remembered that, although the poorest Ivies have become poorer relative to their richer Ivy competitors, they have become richer relative to most of their other private competitors. In the future, one may expect to see even more preferential packaging and direct merit aid, as well as greater faculty salary differentials at institutions that rank below the Ivy League in terms of student selectivity and endowment wealth. (SLD)

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Author:Ehrenberg, Ronald G.; Smith, Christopher L.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:May 3, 2001
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