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Why We Can Be a Research College

In a word: money. In this NYT-derived chart, we have listed the Ivies by their generosity in financially aiding lower income students. As far as Dartmouth goes, not so good, right? We are sixth in the rankings, not only after HYP, but also lagging behind Columbia and Brown:

NYT Endowment Per Student2.jpg

But let’s reshuffle the deck and order the Ivies by endowment per student. Now we are a solid fourth after HYP, and far richer than the lower four Ivies: Penn, Columbia, Brown and Cornell:

NYT Endowment Per Student1a.jpg

Your first conclusion should be how tight-fisted we are in sharing the bounty of our huge endowment with needy families. The second one is how much wealthier we are than the non-HYP schools. How can, say, Columbia do big science (and admit more kids from poor families) and we supposedly can’t, when we have well over double the endowment per student of the Manhattan-dwelling school.

One day the College will have a real President, one who will focus on education rather than social welfare. What a glorious school we will become when that person trims all the fat and applies the huge savings to the faculty and students.

Addendum: As I have written repeatedly, if we could educate our students for the same per student cost as Brown, we’d free up approximately $250 million/year from the budget — about a quarter of all spending. That’s the equivalent of adding $5.0 billion to the endowment. You could pay for a great many laboratories with that kind of money — let alone refurbished dorms, competitive salaries for professors, and a raft of innovative programs that would interest the whole world in a Dartmouth education.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Your financial analysis is spot on. I can never understand how these idiots who claim to know how to run a non-profit institution of higher learning don’t have a clue about financial mgmt. I personally think someone other than the higher-ups in the administration, those overeducated and self appointed experts in all things, should never be allowed to handle the money. That’s what the Board should be doing…OOPS…I forgot they have packed the Board with like-minded souls.

The first rule in management should always be accountability. Why is there none at Dartmouth? As I’ve said before… IT TAKES GREAT TEACHERS AND GREAT STUDENTS TO MAKE A GREAT SCHOOL. EVERYONE ELSE IS AN EMPLOYEE.

Somebody has to tell it like it is.

Thanks for all you do. It’s a labor of love.

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