School Name: Prairie View A&M University
Median Cost of Attendance: $11 505
Undergraduate Population: 6 931
Endowment Needed: $1 594 823 040
Analysis: Prairie View A&M University needs approximately $1.5 billion for all of its students to attend debt free annually. Prairie View A&M University is located in Texas which is one of three states that have HBCUs underneath “systems” with Maryland and Florida being the other two. Prairie View A&M is underneath the Texas A&M University system which itself controls the tenth largest endowment in America at almost $7 billion. The upside of being in a system of a larger university is the financial stability provided but in exchange for essentially a complete loss of sovereignty in key strategic areas. As such it makes it complicated to know what their exact endowment is within the university since oft times money is pooled together and to complicate it even more the Texas A&M University system potentially charges its satellite schools a management fee to hold their money allowing them to skim off any donation that comes into the university. U.S. News reports Prairie View A&M’s endowment to be in the neighborhood of approximately $48 million which is 0.68% of Texas A&M’s endowment for perspective. Historically, the relationship between Prairie View A&M and Texas A&M has always been tumultuous and when money is involved it only complicates it even further. It has taken Prairie View A&M University alumni over 133 years to establish an independent foundation to manage the assets of its alumni. A foundation whose purpose and strategy still seem very unclear if one visits their website or talks to any alumni. The future of Prairie View A&M’s endowment which could use some clarity will ultimately rest in decisions about that endowment being made in Prairie View, Texas or continuing to be made in College Station, Texas. It is hard to imagine your competition having your best interest at heart.
As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.