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You vs. Yale and Harvard: What’s Your Return?

Evan Cooper Sep 27, 2016


As it turns out, the manicured quads of the Ivy League aren’t all that different from the concrete playgrounds of a big city public school.

Last week, Yale and Harvard released the investment results of their endowments for the fiscal year ending June 30, and the all too evident “mine is bigger than yours” gamesmanship was there for all to see.

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The amount of money involved is staggering. Harvard, the richest university in the land, has an endowment worth $35.7 billion. Yale’s is the second largest, at $25.4 billion. So Harvard wins on that score – if you’re keeping score.

Yet, Yale made more money. In its latest fiscal year, the endowment of the New Haven, Conn.-based school – under the long-time direction of its manager David Swensen – earned 3.4%. The money is important, because the endowment contributes about 34% of the university’s operating budget, or about $1.2 billion.

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