College Endowments: Should They Pay for Tuition?

Yes, says Lynne Munson, a fellow at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, writing in CRC’s Foundation Watch this month.

Even if Harvard gave all its undergraduates a free ride, the school wouldn’t come close to spending even half of the interest it is receiving on the aid-restricted portion of its endowment alone

Munson, a former deputy chairman at the National Endowment for the Humanities, is also quoted in Sunday’s New York Times story on donor restrictions on gifts to higher education. Munson rejects claims that the restrictions prevent colleges from spending more of their endowments on keeping down the cost of tuition.

 Congress is considering legislation to require colleges to spend at least five percent of their assets each year, a requirement similar to the law governing private foundations.

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