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Investigation: Waste of the Day – Elite Universities Received $45 Billion In Public Funds Since 2018

By Adam Andrzejewski

Will Donald Trump win the 2024 election?

Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by RealClearInvestigations and RealClearWire

Topline: You might expect that your tax dollars are being used to fund public universities, and that elite, private institutions are able to hold their own with little government support.

That’s not the case. Auditors at found that 10 of America’s wealthiest colleges have received $45 billion in federal money since 2018. That figure includes $33 billion in contracts and grants and $12 billion in tax breaks.

The list includes the eight schools of the Ivy League, as well as Stanford University and Northwestern University.

Key facts: The 10 universities collectively received more money from the federal government than from undergraduate tuition.

Stanford University benefited the most, taking in $7 billion in taxpayer money. Columbia University was the biggest recipient of direct grants, earning $5 billion.

Because the universities are considered charitable institutions, they pay just a 1.4% tax rate on increases to their endowments, instead of the typical 20% capital gain tax for wealthy individuals. This policy benefited Harvard University and Yale University the most, since their endowments both increased by more than $11 billion between 2018 and 2022.

Some of the grants were used to fund research studies with arguable merit. One Stanford study use almost $2 million to analyze how college students are affected by retail marijuana. Yale used $600,000 to look at the “impacts of mobile technology on work, gender gaps, and norms.”

Background: The $45 billion that the 10 universities received since 2018 is larger than any U.S. public universities’ entire endowment. The University of Texas led public schools with a $43 billion endowment, as of 2021.

Five of the 10 universities included in the OpenTheBooks audit were also among the top 10 in the country at generating private donations in 2018, right before the audit began. So, it’s not as if they were strapped for cash.

Auditors found no significant difference in the amount of federal money doled out to elite institutions between the administrations of Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Many elite institutions have come under fire in recent months, with some top Republicans claiming that the schools are spreading antisemitism. Trump called for an increase in taxes on these universities’ endowments, while presidential candidate and former SC Gov. Nikki Haley said federal funds should stop being dispersed to these schools.

In December, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) introduced a bill that would levy a 35% tax on any college endowments above $10 billion.

Summary: Even with recent controversy, it’s still unknown when or if federal funding to elite, private universities will decrease. It’s hard to ignore the fact that these colleges are at the forefront of both the educational and scientific fields, but the impact on taxpayers also can’t be dismissed.
By Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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