August 02, 2017


Twenty-two tables convey the financial state of American colleges. This section includes data on tuition, endowments, research-and-development spending, and other resources and spending.

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The idea that having a digital collection would make it much cheaper to run an academic library turns out to be wishful thinking.

Among the 100 most expensive colleges, 64 charged tuition and fees exceeding $50,000.

Eleven institutions with the highest charges for state residents were in Pennsylvania, and 10 were in New Jersey.

Twelve colleges on the list charged nonstate residents tuition and fees that were more than triple the in-state amount.

The average published tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates continued to increase, for the most part, beyond the rate of inflation.

Many of the large gifts to universities in 2016-17 were devoted to the advancement of biomedical and other scientific research.

The market value of Harvard University's endowment dropped by nearly $2 billion in a year, but it is still far larger than any other university's endowment.

Almost all of the top fund raisers were doctoral universities with the highest research activity.

Salaries and wages of professional staff members represented from 15 percent to 37 percent of total library spending.

Higher-education institutions spent nearly $68.7 billion on research and development in the 2015 fiscal year.

Nearly two-thirds of expenditures at four-year for-profit institutions went to student services, and academic and institutional support.

Five colleges on the list relied on tuition for more than half of their revenue.

Published tuition and fees have more than doubled at four-year public institutions since 1996-97, but what students actually pay has risen 61 percent.

Discount rates grew by more than 11 percentage points for first-time, full-time freshmen.

Institutions with endowments valued at less than $25 million decreased their effective spending rates, on average, by more than half a percentage point.

The rate of return for the year that ended on June 30, 2016, was the first negative figure since 2012.

Personal giving from alumni and other individuals declined from the previous year in the 2016 fiscal year.

Median assets per student were more than four times greater at private nonprofit institutions than at public institutions.

Per-student spending at colleges whose library materials were at least 85 percent digital ranged from $60 to $768.

Online or digital journals and databases, along with e-books, consumed more than 70 percent of academic libraries' materials budgets.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which had the most NSF-supported spending, devoted half of those funds to computer science.

The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington led in such spending in the 2015 fiscal year.

Of the 177 private degree-granting institutions that fell short, 112 were nonprofit and 65 were for-profit.