Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Don’t Mess With College Endowments


The Detroit Free Press editorializes today against the idea of mandating that schools spend more of their endowment earnings to help keep down tuition increases.

One very important point the writers make is that endowments are not just big piles of cash that can be used for anything. Much of a school’s endowment is restricted to specific uses. If the government were to mandate more “student aid,” that would probably run afoul of some donors’ intentions.

Predictably, though, the Free Press advocates more federal subsidies for students (“adequate funding for government-supported grant and loan programs”). Throwing more taxpayer money at this problem won’t help either.


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