The adjective that best describes 2019 HBCU endowments – uninspiring. HBCU flagship endowments barely moved over the past calendar year. Of all reporting endowments, only The University of the Virgin Islands saw double digit gains in their endowment market value. Since breaking into the top 10 HBCU endowments in 2014, UVI has been on a meteoric rise almost doubling their endowment over the past six years and has become something of a canary in a coal mine.
There is plenty of blame to go around, but the jest of the matter is HBCUs and HBCU alumni associations continue to not do a good enough job of hammering financial and philanthropic literacy among their constituents. This leads to either a lack of investing or no investing at all among HBCU alumni and HBCU alumni associations and therefore a paltry engagement both from an alumni giving rate and alumni giving amounts. Simply put, there are still far too many HBCU alumni and students who do not know what an endowment is or its purpose and it is reflected in the endowments of our institutions.
If there is any solace to be taken from this year’s numbers, it is that HBCU endowments are largely in line with the overall sentiment of America’s college and university endowments. Unfortunately, the median HBCU endowment is less than 44 percent of the overall NACUBO median reporting endowment and HBCU endowments are just barely 18 percent of the NACUBO average reporting endowment.
- HBCU Endowment Total – $2.1 billion
- Number of PWIs Above $2 billion – 54
- Number of PWIs Above $1 billion – 108
- HBCU Median – $64.8 million (4.07%)
- NACUBO Median – $149 million (5.02%)
- HBCU Average – $148 million (4.25%)
- NACUBO Average – $816.4 million (4.24%)
All values are in millions ($000)
1. Howard University – $692,832 (0.62%)
2. Spelman College – $390,462 (0.27%)
3. Hampton University – $282,543 (-0.98%)
4. Meharry Medical College – $159,146 (-0.48%)
5. Florida A&M University – $98,213 (1.93%)
6. University of the Virgin Islands – $71,684 (15.83%)
7. North Carolina A&T State University – $68,459 (7.58%)
8. Tennessee State University – $61,110 (4.11%)
9. Virginia State University – $57,383 (5.33%)
10. Winston-Salem State University – $49,755 (7.66%)
- Alabama A&M University – $48,029 (4.03%)
- Rust College – $43,445 (7.54%)
- Norfolk State University – $24,435 (-1.29%)
- Fayetteville State University – $24,341 (7.29%)
Take a look at how an endowment works. Not only scholarships to reduce the student debt burden but research, recruiting talented faculty & students, faculty salaries, and a host of other things can be paid for through a strong endowment. It ultimately is the lifeblood of a college or university to ensure its success generation after generation.