By Natasha Bach
February 11, 2019

Colleges and universities across the U.S. brought in the big bucks last year.

These schools raised a record $46.7 billion in fiscal 2018—the ninth consecutive record year, according to a survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Last year’s total marked a 7.2% increase from 2017, with seven universities receiving single gifts of $100 million or more—the highest number to receive such large donations.

Perhaps even more remarkable: three universities brought in more than $1 billion each. Harvard University, the wealthiest school in the U.S., brought in the most, raising a total of $1.4 billion. Stanford University raised $1.1 billion, while Columbia University raised $1 billion.

Public universities also fared well. The University of California at Los Angeles brought in $787 million, while the University of California San Francisco raised $730 million. On average, schools took in $41.9 million in donations, ranging from a mean of under $2 million for community colleges to $238 at multi-campus public universities. And while private schools brought in more money overall, increases to donation amounts were greater at public universities.

Some of last year’s growth can be attributed to the passage of the 2017 GOP tax law, spurring donors to make strategically timed gifts to maximize their tax benefits.

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