College donations skyrocket amid tax law changes

Donations to colleges and universities increased by more than 7 percent to record levels last year, new data shows.

Giving clocked in at a record $46.73 billion during the 2017-2018 academic year – an increase of 7.2 percent when compared with the year prior – according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Voluntary Support of Education survey.

For most schools, the fiscal years ends in June. The survey included data from 929 institutions.

Harvard University received the most money, at $1.42 billion, followed by Stanford at $1.1 billion and Columbia at $1.01 billion. The University of California, Los Angeles, received $790 million, while the University of California, San Francisco, got $730 million.

The top 10 recipients received 18 percent of all funds last year.


As previously reported by FOX Business, a donor-advised fund allows people to set aside as many years’ worth of giving at one time as they’d like – in what is akin to a charitable investment account – and get the write-off immediately. One expert said last year these funds were “skyrocketing” in popularity.

Additionally, the report noted that taxpayers who wanted to take advantage of the old law were likely also accounted for in the data. The law was signed about midway through the 2017-2018 academic year.