Stanford University raised more in private donations than any other U.S. college or university last year, even as charitable support for higher education fell steeply nationwide because of the recession, a new survey shows.
Stanford held onto the top spot for the fifth straight year, taking in $640.1 million in donations in 2009, down about 18% from the previous year, according to the report released Wednesday by the Council for Aid to Education. Harvard was second with $601.6 million, followed by Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins.
Four California universities ranked in the top 20 nationally. USC, which received $368.9 million, was seventh; UCLA, ninth, with $351.6 million; UC San Francisco, 15th, with $300.4, and UC Berkeley, 19th, with $255.1 million.
The council, a New York-based nonprofit, estimated that U.S. colleges and universities raised a total of about $27.8 billion in 2009, with alumni and foundations the biggest donors. The 12% decline was the steepest percentage drop since the survey began 40 years ago, said survey director Ann E. Kaplan. That and decreases in the value of endowments and income made fiscal 2009 a tough time for most campuses, she said.