Top Schools See Growth in Investments

Less prominent schools fall victim to struggling markets.

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We already knew about Harvard's 8.6 percent return on investment (and 6 percent growth in its endowment) over the past year, but other schools have reported relatively sluggish numbers. Not surprisingly, most of the top schools saw decent returns (as much as anyone could hope in this economy), while less prominent schools struggled.

Stanford earned a "hard-fought" 6.2 percent on its investments, hedging against weak credit markets and bulking up on oil and gas. Its endowment stands at $20.4 billion.

Yale saw a 4.5 percent return, earning $400 million (short of Harvard's $651 million earnings) and boosting its endowment to $22.9 billion.

MIT reports it managed a 3.2 percent return over the past year. Its endowment totals $10.1 billion.

While these elite schools had gotten accustomed to double-digit increases, few are complaining about the slow growth. Things could be worse, like at schools where any increase would be welcome.

Rice University lost $60 million, or 1.5 percent, from its $4.67 billion endowment.

The University of Pennsylvania saw a 3.9 percent drop in its endowment, which is valued at $6.3 billion. Penn State lost 1.9 percent in the market, dropping its endowment to $1.6 billion.

The University of Connecticut's $400 million endowment lost $32 million in public investments this year (down 5.5 percent). The school was especially hard hit by a 17 percent loss in real estate.

Now, what's that saying about what the rich and poor keep getting?