Ivy League, Inc. – $168 Million in Congressional “Bailout” for Covid-19 Relief

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The Ivy League colleges received $168 million in coronavirus “bailout” money from Congress despite having over $140 billion in their endowments.

The recently-passed $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill included (in section 2003) about $39.6 billion for higher education institutions. There was $36 billion for nearly 3,500 public and private, nonprofit colleges and universities; approximately $395.8 million for about 1,630 for-profit institutions; and nearly $3 billion reserved for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other minority serving institutions, according to the American Council on Education (ACE).


According to Campus Reform, the Ivies are “among the biggest winners” in the bill, even though some of their endowments are larger than some countries’ gross domestic product.

Using ACE’s estimates, Campus Reform predicts Uncle Sam will pay Ivy League institutions a collective $168.2 million in the latest round of COVID-relief funding: 

  • Cornell University- $33 million, (Endowment: $7.2 billion)  
  • Columbia University- $32.9 million (Endowment: $11.26 billion)  
  • University of Pennsylvania- $26.3 million (Endowment: $14.9 billion)  
  • Harvard University- $25.4 million (Endowment: $41.9 billion)  
  • Yale University- $17.3 million (Endowment: $31.2 billion)  
  • Brown University- $12.5 million (Endowment: $4.7 billion)  
  • Princeton University- $12.1 million (Endowment: $26.6 billion)  
  • Dartmouth College- $8.7 million (Endowment: $6 billion)

OpenTheBooks.com auditors previously sourced $41.59 billion to Ivy League colleges (FY2010-FY2015) in various forms of government (taxpayer) benefits, payments or advantaged tax treatment. We said maybe Congress should tax the Ivies.

Who would have guessed the Ivies would be taxing us instead.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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