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Ivy League schools get $6.93 billion subsidy per year from U.S. government
By Open the Books

OpenTheBooks Oversight Report


Download a PDF copy of the report click here.

U.S. Taxpayer Subsidies, Tax-Breaks and Federal Payments

Into the Ivy League Colleges, Fiscal Years 2010–2015


  1. Ivy League payments and entitlements cost taxpayers $41.59 billion over a six-year period (FY2010-FY2015). This is equivalent to $120,000 in government monies, subsidies, & special tax treatment per undergraduate student, or $6.93 billion per year.
  2. The Ivy League was the recipient of $25.73 billion worth of federal payments during this period: contracts ($1.37 billion), grants ($23.9 billion) and direct payments – student assistance ($460 million).
  3. In monetary terms, the ‘government contracting’ business of the Ivy League ($25.27 billion – federal contracts and grants) exceeded their educational mission ($22 billion in student tuition) FY2010-FY2015.
  4. The eight colleges of the Ivy League received more money ($4.31 billion) – on average – annually from the federal government than sixteen states: see report.
  5. The Ivy League endowment funds (2015) exceeded $119 billion, which is equivalent to nearly $2 million per undergraduate student.
  6. As a non-profit, educational institution, the Ivy League pays no tax on investment gains. Between FY2011-FY2015, the Ivy League schools received a $9.6 billion tax break on the $27.3 billion growth of their endowment funds. In FY2014, the tax-free subsidy on endowment gains amounted to $3.4 billion, or nearly $60,000 per student.
  7. With continued gifts at present rates, the $119 billion endowment fund provides free tuition to the entire student body in perpetuity. Without new gifts, the endowment is equivalent to a full-ride scholarship for all Ivy League undergraduate students for 51-years, or until 2068.
  8. In FY2014, the balance sheet for all Ivy League colleges showed $194,332,115,120 in accumulated gross assets. This is equivalent to $3.35 million per undergraduate student.
  9. The Ivy League employs 47 administrators who each earn more than $1 million per year. Two executives each earned $20 million between 2010-2014. Ivy League employees earned $62 billion in compensation.
  10. In a five-year period (2010-2014) the Ivy League spent $17.8 million on lobbying, which included issues mostly related to their endowment, federal contracting, immigration and student aid.





  1. Federal Grants, Contracts and Direct Payments ($25.73 Billion) 2010-2015:

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Contracts: click here*
Sub-Contracts: click here*
1-25,000 transactions click here*
25,001-50,000 transactions click here*
50,000+ transactions click here*
Sub-Grants: click here*
Direct Payments (Student Aid): click here*

  1. IRS 990 Information Returns FY2014 (latest year available):
Brown University: IRS 990 click here
Columbia University: IRS 990 click here
Cornell University: IRS 990 click here
Dartmouth College: IRS 990 click here
Harvard College:  IRS 990 click here
PENN-University of Pennsylvania: IRS 990 click here
Princeton University: IRS 990 click here
Yale University: IRS 990 click here

Download a PDF copy of the report click here.

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