by Bethany Blankley
Roughly $800 million was allocated to the country’s top 25 universities and colleges that have endowments totaling $350 billion, according to OpenTheBooks.com, a nonprofit watchdog organization.
None of the money is required to be paid back. Instead, the funding is paid for by taxpayer debt added to the growing $24.9 trillion national debt.
The organization created an interactive map by state to help users identify which colleges and universities received how much federal money. The list does not necessarily mean that the institutions have taken the money. They must first apply for it to receive it.
Taxpayers interested in learning where their money is going (or how much debt they will go into for paying for it) can click a pin on a state and scroll down to the chart under the map to find out the amount each college or university is allocated.
In California, for example, 530 higher education institutions are listed. In New York, 389; in Texas, 295.
Texas higher education institutions received a total of $1 billion out of the total $14 billion allocated, according to a tally by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Austin.
The University of Texas system received the most–$172.5 million– even though it is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education for its involvement with the infectious diseases laboratory in Wuhan, China, and its potential links to Beijing and roughly 24 Chinese state-owned companies, including telecom giant Huawei, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The lab is believed to be responsible for creating and releasing the virus that is responsible for shutting down the global economy.
According to the report, the five colleges and universities that received the most federal bailout money are Arizona State University ($63.5 million), Penn State ($55 million), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ($54.1 million), University of Central Florida ($51.1 million), and Miami Dade College ($49.1 million).
OpenTheBooks.com auditors found that taxpayer-indebted money went to the wealthiest schools, including:
- $42 million to Ohio State University, which has a $3.6 billion endowment
- $8.5 million to Northwestern University, which has a $9.7 billion endowment
- $6.2 million to The University of Chicago, which has a $7 billion endowment
- $5 million to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has a $13.2 billion endowment
The most bailout money going to the biggest higher education systems include:
- $55 million to Penn State, which has a $3.6 billion endowment
- $82.2 million to Texas A&M, which has a $10.5 billion endowment
- $172.5 million to The University of Texas, which has a $24.2 billion endowment
- $260 million to the University of California, which has a $8.3 billion endowment
The 14 schools of the Big 10 Conference were allocated the most bailout money of all—$393 million—an average of $28 million per institution, the report found.
Indiana University took $24.6 million in taxpayer money despite having an endowment of $2.4 billion. The president of the school’s salary was $3.5 million (2017-2019) and the school’s foundation employed his wife ($303,641) and daughter ($58,271), OpenTheBooks.com reports.
“The top 10 worst schools were allocated $66 million despite reporting graduation rates between 4-9 percent,” CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com, Adam Andrzejewski, says, adding, “The U.S. taxpayer may want to know why these schools are even allowed to operate.”
The report found that blue states were allocated more money on average than the red states were, by a difference of $50 million. “This is because blue states had more higher-ed institutions than the red states,” Andrzejewski says.
In 20 blue states, 2,155 institutions were allocated federal aid, an average of 108 schools per state. In 30 red states, 2,853 institutions, an average of 95 schools per state, were allocated federal aid.
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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square.