Columbia Endowment: Fund Size, Donations & Financials

College endowments, the amount of money colleges receive in donations, are an important part for schools to use for investments, upgrading facilities, hiring professors and more. Endowments also allow universities to give out scholarships and set tuition amount. Colleges with higher endowments would be able to give students bigger financial award packages, therefore endowments are often seen as an important source for students to pursue higher education with less concern for their financial burden.
Donations from alumni and others create a sort of pool of funding that the college can use, build, and get returns on. Typically, endowment funds follow a fairly strict set of long-term guidelines dictating the asset allocation that will yield the targeted return without taking on too much risk.
All of the information for the Columbia University endowment can be seen below.

Columbia Endowment Size: $10 Billion

Columbia University contains a relatively small amount of endowment comparing to other Ivy League schools such as Harvard’s $37.1 billion, Yale’s $27 billion and Princeton’s $24.6 billion. According to Columbia Spectator, the school’s endowment raised the fund’s value to $10 billion in 2017, which was the fourth smallest of the Ivy League.
However, the reported return of 13.7 percent for the 2017 fiscal year has marked Columbia the third-highest among the eight-member Ivy League, and its 10-year investment return of 7.3 percent was the best in the group, according to data compiled by Bloomberg in April 2018. The average investment return among Ivy League universities was 12.6 percent. All eight universities, with the exception of Yale, faced losses in the 2016 fiscal year.
The Columbia Investment Management Company (IMC) is charged with managing the bulk of the University’s endowments, also known as managed assets. “The formation of the IMC symbolizes the University’s dedication and commitment to the long-term investment management of the endowment with the highest professional standards,” the University’s official website stated.
“According to a statement released by the University, these numbers reflect a ‘normal one-quarter lag in private equity and real asset valuations.’ Columbia declined to release details regarding asset allocation or asset class performance, according to Pension and Investments,” as Columbia Spectator reported.

About Columbia

Date Established

October 31, 1754


New York, New York


Lee Bollinger


6,162 undergraduates and 19,806 postgraduates




In lumine Tuo videbimus lumen


Roaree the Lion

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