The NY Times had an article on Sunday 10/23/05 that was worth the price of the paper ($4.50 at my neighborhood convenience store). The article was by Ben Stein and he writes about Yale University's enormous wealth and asks if Yale still needs his annual donation (he is a Yale grad).
Stein says Yale has an endowment of $13 BILLION and suggests it does not need to charge tuition. I agree- the Ivy Schools lead the way in raising tuition and impact the average cost of a college education throughout the country. But, many of the Ivies have billion dollar endowments and they pay little or no income taxes and in some cases, no real estate taxes.
This is a pet peeve of mine: large non-profits in this country like Yale and The Pew Foundation have billions and they spend usually less than 4-5% of their endowment value per year. The law should require tax-free organizations spend at least 10-12% of their endowment value per year.
For your reading pleasure, here is the link to the NY Times article.