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Penn State Ranked No. 26 Wealthiest University In U.S.

Penn State was ranked as the 26th wealthiest university in the country, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Sitting between California State University and the University of Virginia, Penn State’s wealth has been calculated at $6.7 billion, which is the sixth highest among public institutions on the list.

The ranking comes as part of a study suggesting that the wealth gap between universities is growing, and it notes that the top 40 universities accounted for two-thirds of the total cash and investments in four-year schools for the 2014 fiscal year.

Though Moody’s ranks around 500 schools, the top 40 schools had a median wealth of $6.3 billion dollars, while the rest of the analyzed group had a median of only $273 million in cash and investments.

While about 46 percent of this revenue comes from student-related charges at public universities on the list, the additional cash and investments come from many sources, including philanthropic gifts, investments, research funds, and state support. So don’t worry students, at least we aren’t single-handedly funding the 26th wealthiest school in the United States. Although, considering the tuition cost at Penn State, one might hope we could have come in a bit higher than 26th.

Despite a drop in wealth for all of the schools on the list during the recession from 2008 and 2009, most of the top 40 schools saw assets grow by upwards of 50 percent between the 2009 and 2014 fiscal years. This means that the wealth gap between wealthy schools and those not on the list is growing greater.

Due to their reputation, the schools on the list are able to draw investments that smaller schools cannot, meaning that the rich keep getting richer. According to Moody’s analyst and lead author of the study Pranav Sharma, it is unlikely that the schools not already among the most wealthy will be able to crack the top 40.

“It’s not like they’re doing well just because of one factor,” said Sharma in regards to Penn State and the 39 other wealthiest schools in the country. “Everything’s going well for them.”

For Penn State students, however, things aren’t going quite as well in the financial department as the university’s tuition perennially ranks among the highest in the nation. We’re lucky enough to have a president pushing for a tuition freeze, but a tuition decrease wouldn’t be too shabby either.

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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