NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Record high donations to U.S. colleges and universities will benefit the ability of some institutions to achieve strategic goals, which often include controlling tuition increases to manage affordability, and to finance campus improvements, Fitch Ratings says. According to the Council for Aid to Education, donations rose by 9% to $33.8 billion. The previous record was $31.6 billion during the 2008 fiscal year.
Contributions made by alumni were the fastest growing source of gifts, rising by almost 17% over the previous year. In our view, recent increases in the stock market, the aging of the donor population and recognition of increased student financial needs to meet rising tuition costs are likely contributing factors in this giving.
Fitch continues to observe annual giving and fundraising efforts geared toward scholarships to aid in tuition affordability. These additional funds can help institutions to balance achievement of enrollment goals and targeted net tuition growth. Many of the largest gifts mentioned in the Council for Aid to Education report were granted to universities with strong national and international recognition. In our view these institutions will continue to experience strong student demand at any conceivable cost level. Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of Southern California won the top three spots on the list of gifts.
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com.
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