Stanford University set a new college fundraising record after it became the first school to raise over $1 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, according to a report released today by the Council for Aid to Education.
The report found that elite institutions continue to secure a disproportionate share of donor funds, with the top 10 fundraising colleges collecting $5.3 billion, 17 percent of the total $31 billion that was raised last year, reports the Associated Press
These schools represent only 0.3 percent of the roughly 3,500 accredited, nonprofit U.S. colleges and universities reviewed by the study.
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Leading the list were Stanford with $1.035 billion, Harvard University with $650 million, Yale University with $544 million, the University of Southern California with $492 million, and Columbia University with $490 million.
Martin Shell, Stanford's vice president for development, said the university was “in awe” of the fundraising number.
"It was remarkable showing of generosity," he said, adding the school is “humbled by this kind of response."
Put in perspective, the Stanford figure breaks down to about $56,000 per student, based on the school's enrollment of 18,500 in undergraduate and graduate programs. But the money won't end up in any of their pockets. It's already dedicated to construction and research.
The University of California also turned in a huge fundraising figure for last year. The 10-campus system pulled in $1.56 billion altogether in donations over the course of the year.
In addition, the total level of college fundraising came close to reaching the record $31.6 billion in 2008.
"Higher education for most people represents hope for a better future, and donors want to invest in that," said Shell.
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