Howard Tops List of HBCU Endowments

HBCU Money, a website profiling financial news and information on historically Black colleges and universities, this week released its annual report on the top 10 endowments at HBCUs in 2013. Howard University topped the list with more than $513 million in its endowment, despite a drop of more than $20 million from last year’s list.

The list, which also accounts for return on investment for the top 10 endowments, posts North Carolina A&T State University as the HBCU with the highest yield with 17. 5 percent. William Foster, Publisher and Editor of HBCU Money, says that graduation rates are a short-term factor in the long-term building of Black college endowments.

“The demographics are working against us because we have the lowest graduation rates in this country,” says Foster, a graduate of Virginia State University and Prairie View A&M University.  “This matter is at the heart of our financial issue. Larger alumni pools increase the probability of producing high-quality donors or those who can make transformative donations.”

The movement for more diverse student bodies at HBCUs, he says, also hinders brand loyalty in African-American communities for HBCUs – a critical element to philanthropic support of HBCU missions and students.  Howard, he says, would require a $6 billion endowment for all of its students to attend debt-free, but currently operates at less than 10 percent of that threshold.

“There is also an issue of HBCUs operating in isolation from the overall African-American ecosystem. Many argue that we need to get more “diverse” because demographics are working against us. But I have yet to identify an HBCU whose endowment is managed by an African-American owned asset manager or bank. That is an issue that has caused questionable returns at one of the top ten endowments.”

“So like many other African-American institutions with failing health, a significant part of the problem is that they are too detached from the ecosystem and no institutions in an ecosystem can operation in isolation and survive.”

The top ten endowments are (Return on Investment in Parentheses):

1. Howard University
$513 667 (11.5%)

2. Spelman College
$327 171 (5.8%)

3. Hampton University
$254 103 (9.3%)

4. Meharry Medical College
$124 965 (11.1%)

5. Florida A&M University
$115 281 (7.0%)

6. Tennessee State University
$42 970 (13.4%)

7. Texas Southern University
$42 179 (11.1%)

8. Virginia State University
$38 192 (15.3%)

9. North Carolina A&T State University
$32, 959 (17.5%)

10. Winston­-Salem State University
$29 543 (13.8%)

According to Foster, data used for the list and retrieved from the National Association for College and University Business Officers suggests that the top ten endowments of predominantly white colleges equals $154.7 billion, while the combined value of the top 10 HBCU endowments equals $1.5 billion.

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  • Michael

    We have 105 HBCUs in this country and I wonder how many of them place the lions share of their money in Black owned banks? Let alone have a robust banking relationship with any Black owned bank.

  • Brad Ray

    Tuskegee, which did not participate in the annual survey, reported its fiscal year endowment stood at $105 million.

  • Michael

    What’s the rationale, intent, and purpose for writing this article which is merely a smokescreen for Howard University employment and communal crimes its committing by eliminating 200 jobs under the guise of “restructuring”. Yet, these same so-called Blacks will be outsourcing (ok, giving contracts) to a cabal of persons (e.g., illegal immigrants) who have no vested interest in the Black community.
    Its utterly amazing that many of our so-called HBCUs incessantly provides opportunities for everybody else whose not native born Black. In my opinion, this should be viewed as communal treason and such persons should be dutifully excommunicated from the community until they repent for their sins.

    • J’aime Sucer

      Where did you read Howard is outsourcing those 200 jobs to illegal immigrants?

      • Michael


        It’s called privatizing services that were previously performed by university employees(e.g., those with full benefits, tuition remission, etc.). Thereby, when these privately owned companies secure particular contracts, will be more than likely to hire personnel with suspect and questionable documents. As a
        result, these individuals will receive disparate treatment and even underpaid in many instances. However, to the illegal immigrant, he/she will be so inclined to remain silence and endure such treatment in order to remain in the country.

        It appears that you disagree with the use of the word “illegal
        immigrants”. If so, an “illegal immigrant is any person not being a citizen of the country entered (illegally) into that country without a valid sanction or continue to stay in a country after the expiration of his valid stay in that country”. Their country of origin (e.g., South or Central America, Europe, Africa, or Asia, etc.) doesn’t matter either.

        Regarding the estimated jobs being outsourced to illegal immigrants, why do you think people were protesting? When anyone uses the term illegal immigrant it does not imply that you’re referencing Latin America countries. If so, that’s due to one’s own socialization and limited understanding on geopolitics.

        • J’aime Sucer

          You wrote a lengthy reply to a very simple question. And no, I have no issue with you using the words “illegal immigrants” nor do I believe the term references Latin American countries exclusively. I simply asked you where did you read Howard is giving these jobs to illegal immigrants. A very simple question to which you did not answer. Is it because Howard will be oustourcing? And does the word ” outsourcing” automatically mean hiring illegal immigrants……in all cases?

          • Michael

            Re: J’aime,
            In your opinion my response was lengthy. It’s called clarification and elaboration of one’s perspective. Back to your question. Outsourcing or offshoring is an inherently bad because it results in the immediate loss of jobs for American workers in general. By the way, once the outsourcing or offshoring and find its way to a third world country(e.g., exploited) then, the indigenous people will be exploited as well.
            Not to mention that majority of those individuals will hail from the lower end of the economic ladder trying to obtain a semblance of upward mobility that generally take years to occur.

          • J’aime Sucer

            So what you’re saying in all cases, outsourced jobs go to non-americans and there are no cases where outsourced jobs go to americans. And in your third sentence, outsourcing = “offshoring”. uh huh. okay.

          • Michael

            Re: J’aime;
            I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the neoliberal and globalization term called “offshoring”. In a nutshell, offshoring has the identical impact internally and externally as offshoring, except for semantics. In other words, the response will be different by the public mass when they hear the word being used via the White mainstream media.